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4 Steps To Start Using Drones in Your Survey Business


Drones are taking the surveying industry by storm, providing a faster, safer, and more cost-effective alternative to traditional methods. But with so many options available, it’s no surprise that businesses are often left scratching their heads on how to get started with drone surveying

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about integrating drones into your current workflow, from start to finish. Read on to unlock the full potential of drone technology for your surveying business.

Incorporating Drones into Your Survey Business

  1. Obtain Operational Authorisation from the CAA

Before taking flight, it’s crucial to obtain an Operational Authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority. This will ensure that you are legally allowed to operate a drone for commercial purposes in a variety of areas where surveyors usually need to undertake work. Take a look at our range of courses here.

  1. Determine Your Data Needs

To effectively use a drone for surveying, it’s important to understand the data you need to collect. Are you looking to measure volumetrics or detect heat loss in buildings? Do you need to penetrate vegetation? Not sure how to decide? Ask our team for advice.

  1. Choose the Right Drone

Consider the type of drone and sensor required for your specific needs. Selecting the right drone is essential for success. A consultation with an expert can help you identify the best drone for your budget and requirements. For beginners, a Mavic 3 Enterprise is a great starting point that can also serve as a reliable backup.

  1. Obtain Software to Process Data

Processing data collected from a drone is just as important as collecting it. You may already have software capable of processing the data, but if not, there are specialist software packages available to help you make sense of the data collected.

Stay up to date with the latest drone regulations from the CAA in our recent blog post: 2023 Drone Regulations Made Easy – The Essential Guide 

Using Drones in Your Survey Company FAQs

Why should surveyors consider adding drones to their service offerings?

Incorporating drones into your surveying business provides a whole range of benefits. Drones enable you to capture data quickly, safely, and cover larger areas in less time. With live streaming capabilities, you can remotely access site progress updates and gather whole site data instantly. 

Is it difficult to get qualified?

Not at all! We make the process easy and accessible. All you need to do is invest in the cost of the course and join us for three days of theory and practical training. We also offer residential options to ensure you get the most out of your training.

How long will it take to make a return?

The time it takes to see a return on investment will depend on factors such as the drone you choose and your level of training. However, by using drones instead of traditional surveying methods, you can save time and money by reducing the need for manual labour and enabling data processing overnight. With a Mavic 3 Enterprise, for example, you can recuperate the cost quickly, especially if you invest time in training to increase efficiency. 

Is it better to hire or buy equipment?

We would suggest buying a drone outright. You don’t have to buy a top-end drone straight away. Once you’re happy with your skills and the value that drones are providing to your survey business, you can upgrade to a more high-tech model, and your first drone becomes a backup. 

If you require more capability on a one-off basis, you can hire add-ons from us and attach them to your drone. For example, thermal cameras are less commonly used but are expensive to buy. Renting a thermal camera attachment will expand your service offering without a high upfront cost.

How liable am I if something goes wrong?

It’s important to obtain drone insurance and ensure your paperwork is up to date and fit for purpose. We offer ongoing support throughout the year to ensure you stay up to date with regulations as an academy member. By taking these precautions, you can minimize risk and fly with confidence.

Final Thoughts 

Incorporating drones into your surveying business is a smart move that can help you save time, increase efficiency, and ultimately, boost your bottom line. By following the four simple steps, you can seamlessly integrate drone technology into your workflow and reap the benefits that it has to offer. 

Remember, investing in the right drone, getting the necessary training, and keeping up with regulations and insurance are all essential to flying safely and confidently. 

For more information on introducing drones to your surveying business, you can access our free webinar recording below.

Or, to speak to one of our experts, book a consultation today. 

Watch our Webinar ‘Introducing Drones to you Survey Business’

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