Confidence in drones is growing exponentially
— there are many reasons why
It was around 2002 when many of us first heard about drones. The context was the war in Afghanistan with the US military using drones — or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)— in combat operations. It’s understandable that the subsequent introduction of drones in Australia, for use in different commercial industries as well as for fun, rang alarm bells for many of us.
Flying drones around the neighbourhood can elicit fear: there are potential hazards to health if one came crashing down in our yards or on the road, and the invasion of privacy as we imagine drones flying over our backyards. Over the years, the licensing laws for using drones have become clearer and more practical, with improved legislation around society’s use of UAVs.
In 2017, we have come around to considering the escalation of drone use with much more confidence. There’s a growing range of industries, in Australia and around the world, that are embracing drones as part of effective business and service practice:
- Drones have been adopted by search and rescue services as an effective tool to identify the location of people in precarious and dangerous predicaments.
- Shark patrols are increasingly utilizing drones as a surveillance method, tracking sharks around our popular beaches.
- Drones are increasingly being used by Australian law enforcement agencies to help fight crime.
- The University of New England’s agricultural researchers at their SMART Farm have utilised drone technology to help enable farmers better manage their land and livestock.
- Drones provide a cheaper alternative for the media industry with capturing high-quality aerial footage for news and entertainment purposes.
Adric Spiteri from Sure Shot Film has been providing drone-aerial services for a range of different businesses including infrastructure developers, real estate agents and events organisers. He says that the interest in drone video and photography has been steadily increasing over the years. Using drones requires a license, and operators need to be experienced if they’re to be used effectively. “CASA certification is integral to being a professional drone pilot. The rules and regulations are there for public safety, especially in metropolitan areas where I do much of my work,” said Adric.