Engineering with drones
Using drones for business purposes may not be a new trend, but what is trending is that more engineering and construction companies are licensing their own pilots.
Apex Engineering Group, for example, started using drones about three years ago. Drones there were first used mostly to record pictures and video for marketing purposes, providing images for press releases and other promotional material. But the company’s focus on using drones has changed over time, according to civil engineer Brent Muscha, just as it has for many engineering and construction companies.
Apex, which has offices in three locations in North Dakota and one in Minnesota, has found drone use an applicable and efficient tool to survey projects and track progress. What’s more, the drones it flies are piloted by its own in-house staff.
“It’s developed in the last few years as we’ve gotten a little more savvy with what we’re doing,” said Muscha, who is based in Fargo, N.D. He said Apex does not hire specifically for pilot positions but instead surveyors and engineers who, on top of their primary duties, would like to take on the additional responsibility of piloting drones when the need arises.
That need arises more frequently these days.