Drone Technology in the 21st Century


There have been few times in history when technological advances have taken the world by storm similar to how drone technology has. The introduction of the smartphone is an example.

At a time in the not-so-recent past, none of us would have guessed smartphones would become ubiquitous. Streaming media is another example, and may one day make cable and broadcast obsolete.

The Unfolding of the Future

Success in business requires individuals to be cognizant of trends. Watching innovation transpire is fascinating and the drone phenomenon is remarkable. Industry monitors estimate revenues from commercial drone usage could grow to as high as $1.7 billion per year by the year 2025.

Applications for business using drones are increasing every day, as innovators find new ways to use this amazing new technology. Leading the way is agriculture, followed by drones equipped with infrared imaging/IR.

Drone usage began in the military. The US has a variety of UAVs, including a micro version small enough to fit into a soldier’s hand. On the flip side, the US Air Force Predator drone is used for air attacks and reconnaissance.

The market for nonmilitary drones is on the upsurge and is expected to continue raising throughout the coming decades. The US government will be the lion’s share of growth in the near future, using drones for border patrols and research. But the commercial market is exploding with growth in construction, oil and gas, and utilities. Small businesses in delivery, aerial photography and monitoring are also expected to thrive as regulations relax and the technology progresses.

We are witnessing historical technological advances. As evidenced throughout history, early adopters benefit most during these pivotal moments.

What It Takes to Be a Pilot

All potential drone pilots must pass a remote drone pilot test to comply with FAA Part 107 regulations. Prep programs give students the knowledge required to fly safely and confidently. Covered material includes:

  • Current FAA regulations
  • UAV Operations
  • Aircraft inspection protocol
  • Navigation and tracking
  • Proper emergency preparedness procedures
  • Proper UAV loading and equipment performance
  • Weather forecasting
  • Decision making

In ground school, pilots are presented with course material in each of these FAA exam subject areas. Once a passing grade is achieved, pilots-in-training are required to complete 10 hours of flying simulations.

Drone Pilots Provide a Valuable Service

The demand for drones is intense, especially in the medical industry. CNBC reports the role of drones in global medicine is growing because of the coronavirus pandemic. Unmanned aerial vehicles truly provide contactless delivery, and are ideal for transporting vaccines, test kits, and medicine to areas with high infection rates.

Drones have also become a tool for the automobile insurance industry. Adjusters review drone footage to obtain fine details of complicated pile-ups. A lawyer for car accident claims can use footage to prove difficult cases in court. Aerial photography alone can generate huge returns for operators. Real estate agents pay large sums for panoramic photographs of homes they are trying to sell.

Operators also win contracts with agriculture firms, utilities and universities, and use thermal imaging to help construction companies test the integrity of roofs and buildings. UAV operators also fly into the eye of the storm to get footage for weather forecasters. If you are the James Bond type, fugitive tracking is often done by drones. As Bond would say, “shocking! Positively shocking”.

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