The use of drones for commercial purposes continues to increase significantly. The FAA says more than 400,000 UAS could be flying under the business umbrella over the next five years, which would be more than a six-fold increase from now.

Adopting drone technology for surveying and mapping is not as simple as buying the hardware and software, and going airborne though. There are rules in place for who can fly, when they can fly and where they can fly. In August 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized its small UAS rule, also known as Part 107, affecting anyone who flies drones for commercial purposes.

Aerial services provider Avion Unmanned is well versed on this topic. The Huntsville, Ala. Company not only specializes in drone aerial mapping, imagery and video; it now offers Part 107 training. At AUVSI Xponential 2017 in Dallas, POB Managing Editor Valerie King interviewed Doug Scott, services pilot with Avion Unmanned. He shared his perspective on flight planning, abiding by FAA rules and getting proper training to operate drones for geospatial applications.

“Without that 107 certificate, you’re stuck waiting while everyone else is working,” Scott says.