Why Enterprise Drone Training Creates Smarter Drone Programs

Drone Training Goes Beyond Certification

So, you’ve decided to add drones to your organization. That’s a great first step!

Like many other companies out there, you’re probably weighing the benefits of an in-house drone program vs. outsourcing.

If you do a quick Google search — which might be how you got here — you’ll find a long list of consultants looking to sell drones and help remote pilots pass the initial drone operator certification test.

Sure, those consultants serve their purpose. But, more often than not, the services they offer are limited in scope. Whether it’s the A2 CofC, Part 107, or other UAV operators’ licenses, remote pilot certification is only the beginning.

Within the UAV industry, several courses exist beyond certification. Some of the most powerful applications undertaken by drone pilots require specialized training to remain both safe and compliant with air traffic laws. Furthermore, additional training will allow you to tap into the full potential offered by adding UAVs to your organization.

Why Additional Drone Training Is Necessary

In most countries, initial drone certification tests are designed to ensure that operators have a basic understanding of aerodynamics, weather, regulations, and safety.

While that certification is essential, it fails to unlock many of the potential uses and benefits of drones.

The most beneficial drone applications — such as aerial surveying, precision agriculture, and utility inspections — require additional training. In order to perform certain tasks, you’ll need well-honed piloting skills, as well as an understanding of sophisticated hardware and software.

Unfortunately, no certification exam will cover all the skills needed to maximize UAS benefits. And, there’s quite a bit of risk involved with trying to develop specialized UAV skills on your own, such as wrecking the drone and/or injuring coworkers.

Types of Training

There are various types of training available to you as a commercial drone operator.

Let’s break them down a bit:

Aerial Mapping

No industry has had a higher adoption rate of UAV technology than construction.

Related: The Benefits of Drones in Construction

In construction, aerial surveying is one of the most used drone applications. Photogrammetry is a fantastic tool, but one that requires focused training and extensive practice.

Additionally, UAS land surveys typically use specialized software and unique hardware, such as AeroPoints, to deliver accurate data collection. Once the data is collected, it then needs to be converted into useful products.

Some of these products might include: Photogrammetric point clouds, triangular surface meshes, textured 3D models, raster digital elevation models for geographic information systems (GIS), orthophotography, and 3D vector data collection.

By taking an aerial surveying course, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills necessary to create a drone program with purpose and direction. You’ll know which drone to buy, what software is best suited for your operation, and how to safely and efficiently gather your data.

Train the Trainer

When you’re invested in a drone program, you might not always consider turnover and changing job roles. Let’s face it, as with any other department, there will be personnel issues.

To start, individuals who operate drones may have other responsibilities within your organization. Perhaps you’re thinking about assigning drone pilot duties to your project manager, who manages several other unrelated tasks. As positions change, you might find yourself with a drone, but without a capable, certified remote pilot to legally operate it.

You’ll want to make sure you have a dedicated person in charge of your drone program at all times … one whose sole mission is to train your team – including new employees. That’s when a train-the-trainer drone course becomes essential.

Train-the-Trainer courses provide you with flexibility. By developing an in-house trainer, you’ll be able to both maintain & grow your program. And, the training can be conducted monthly, quarterly, or even annually. That way, your trainers and pilots will always remain up-to-date with airspace regulations and procedures, and you’ll always have pilots available to keep the program active and thriving.

Build Your Own (Custom Drone Course)

Your company is unique, so your drone program should be unique as well.

You have a specific purpose for drones in mind, and you want to follow a detailed protocol. And, like most of us, you’ve got a budget and time-frame. In this case, you’ll be best suited to design a completely original drone course tailored to your operation.

With a custom UAV course, instructors work with you to explore your business needs and goals. Together, you’ll ably turn them into actionable steps and specific training. Perhaps you want to include initial certification for everyone, then break it out into different applications for varying departments. Make it your own with the support of drone industry experts.

One of the greatest benefits to custom training, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all model, is instruction solely focused on what’s needed. Instead of adding unnecessary steps, your pilots will have direct, easy-to-understand guidelines. As a result, you reduce both cost and downtime.

Bringing It All Together

Learning and growing as your drone program evolves is essential to business success. When it comes to piloting expensive, potentially dangerous equipment, you’ll want to have experts take the controls.

When you get your learner’s permit for driving, you don’t just hop into an 18-wheeler and start hauling freight. You’d need to first learn to drive and earn your license, then you’d have to take specialized courses within that industry to earn another license.

Drone training is sort of like that. You earn your remote pilot certificate, then you train extensively and learn the industry regulations before you fly through a job site filled with millions of dollars of equipment, not to mention a full compliment of employees working on other tasks.

At Consortiq, that’s what we do. We train you and/or your team to fly safely, capture data, and get the most out of your drone program. And, if you decide you’d rather leave it to the experts, we do the work for you. We don’t sell the drones or have any vested interest in specific UAS software. We help you choose and create what’s best for you and your organization.

If you’re ready to take your drone program to new heights, we’re here to help. Need a consultation, or maybe you’re ready to start now? Just complete the form below. We’re global, so no matter where you are in the world, we’re here to help you get to the skies safely.

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.

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