It is official, I am certified as FAA Remote Pilot, and I have the license to prove it. While this was a big moment for us at Gray Digital Group, it might be helpful to explain what this means for our clients. But first, let’s quickly talk about why a license is needed in the first place!
It’s no secret that drone ownership has increased exponentially. Not only have they exploded into the consumer’s space, but in the professional space as well. Video footage and photographs that once required a helicopter are now possible for anyone who can afford a drone, which are becoming increasingly affordable. Ever since DJI released it’s “Phantom 1” in January of 2013, drones have spread like wildfire throughout the video production industry. There have been many advancements in video technology over the years, but drone technology is unique in that in crosses the line into another industry: aviation.
Aviation via motorized flight is still a relatively new endeavor. The first sustained powered flight occurred in 1903, and the first commercial aviation industry didn’t spring into existence until 1925 with the “Air Mail Act.” What makes Commercial Drones so unique is the speed with which they flew into the scene (pun intended). In years past, most technological advances kept pace with legislation, and vice versa. Airspace was by and large reserved for large airlines, with the occasional exception for model rockets, kites and so forth. With drones now sharing airspace with everyone else, regulation was needed.
As I went though the process of becoming certified, I noticed that the primary objective of the FAA was to ensure that Drone Pilots respected and understood airspace laws. The whole point of requiring a license is not to create barriers of entry, but to equip pilots with the knowledge to fly safely and legally. Furthermore, an official FAA license allows us to bring even more legitimacy to our drone product offerings.
Aside from simply becoming a legal requirement, a drone license demonstrates to our clients that we are proficient in all aspects of drone operation. Details like airspace classification, waiver applications, drone laws and safety requirements are just a few facets of the commercial drone process. Luckily our clients don’t have to worry about any of these details, they can focus solely on the content they wish to capture and allow Gray Digital Group to do the heavy lifting. We are proud to offer this service to our clients, and even more excited to see what the future holds!