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Establishing a Drone Business in 2022

  • 3 wk ago

Here’s a “real-world” guide on what to expect if you decide to start your own drone business in 2022. Pros and cons.

Back in 2015, I decided to start flying drones commercially. The DJI Inspire 1 had recently been released, and it was clear that drones were going to open up a lot of video production possibilities. I had just went full-time as a freelancer, primarily doing local commercial work, making tutorial content, and selling stock footage.

Drones looked like a perfect addition to my current “toolkit” of video offerings. I also liked the idea of diversifying the type of video work I could do. (Plus, drones would give me more opportunities to work outside.)

And so, Ozark Drones was born.

Over the years, I’ve surprisingly had several opportunities to work with name-brand companies and television shows, even though I’m located in rural Arkansas. So, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t located in a big city.

This article will serve as a “real-world” perspective on what you can expect if you decide to start your own drone business or side hustle. I won’t sugarcoat the process, and most likely, drones won’t magically become your primary income. (But, they’re a lot of fun!)

And, obviously, starting a drone business now will be much easier than it was back in 2015.

FAA Requirements and Cost

Flying a drone “commercially” essentially means that you can legally operate a drone for business purposes and get paid for the service. In order to fly drones commercially in the U.S., you’ll need a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. (This is also often referred to as a Commercial Drone License or Part 107 License.)

In short, to obtain this certificate, you must pass a Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center. Currently, the cost is $175.00.

Don’t let the Knowledge Test intimidate you, though. The FAA provides a full outline of the steps required to become a drone pilot. The FAA also provides a free study guide for the Knowledge Test.

Having a Remote Pilot Certificate is key when it comes to getting bigger clients for drone work. (Plus, it’s legally required for all commercial work!)

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