The FAA is allowing drones for commercial use and in the U.S., they anticipate that it may create $100 million+ in economic benefits. Beyond the financial side, the use of commercial drones are also being justified as they are saving lives.
There are a number of dangerous situations that have resulted in the death of workers. These include everything from building inspection to climbing telecommunications and radio towers. On the latter, between the years of 2004-2012, 95 workers died climbing those towers. The requirement of aerial photography resulted in seventeen manned aircraft crashes between the years of 2005-2009, killing 19 people.
Remote control drones are now being used in a number of industries. Many areas that require investigation or inspection but are clearly difficult for humans to gain access are now easily viewed with an RC drone. In addition, the inspection of farmland crops may only save around $5 per acre, but that ends up translating in billions in overall savings.
Unlike standard hobby drones, commercial drones typically weigh more and have extended features and abilities. The FAA requires that the users pass a knowledge test prior to flying. The owners will also have to register the commercial drone with the FAA.
In building construction as well as demolition, there are areas that need to be inspected and viewed. In the past, this was a dangerous job with loss of life. The commercial drones can be directed into and around all precarious and questionable areas without putting human lives at risk.
The medical emergency teams around the country are also incorporating the use of commercial drones. This is especially important when people have been injured or stuck in areas that have mountains, valleys and horrendous weather conditions. The emergency teams can gauge not only the safety factors but put together rescue plans that allow everyone to be maintained in safe conditions.
There has been a plan for the use of commercial drones in other business areas. Amazon has been developing a potential ‘package delivery’ system with the use of drones, however, that is not completed as of yet due to a number of legal and technological hurdles.