The FAA replaced highly restrictive regulations with a less onerous set of rules, paving the way for expanded drone use by firms spanning from real estate & construction to wedding photographers.
â€śDrones can help businesses in so many ways, but restrictions made access cost-prohibitive to many firmsâ€ť, Founder & CEO Dan Edmonson MBA’15 said in an interview.
Before this August 29, 2016, the FAA required anyone who flew a drone for non-recreational purpose to possess a commercial pilotâ€™s license and fly in accordance with a special waiver or exemption from the FAA. The new regulations now enable anyone who successfully completes the FAAâ€™s Aeronautical Knowledge Exam to fly a drone commercially.
â€śThe rule change has increased the supply of potential pilots, but hasnâ€™t yet led to broad price decreases. Weâ€™re here to change thatâ€ť, Edmonson continued.
The rule change opens the door for companies to operate drones in-house, but while Edmonson expects many businesses to take advantage, he thinks the decision to outsource operations or to conduct them internally will depend on a given companyâ€™s expected level of use. â€śMost companies would love to have the output, but donâ€™t need to have a full-time drone pilot on staffâ€ť, Edmonson said. â€śBusinesses still must invest in a drone, employee training, insurance, software, depreciation & obsolescence, as well as registration and testing fees. And even after that, an employee who only occasionally uses the drone might not produce the level of quality desired by his or her employerâ€ť.
Edmonson brings his deep entrepreneurial experience to the new venture. Edmonson previously launched a successful business process outsourcing company prior to earning his MBA from Babson College in 2015. While a student at Babson, he developed and wrote the business plan for Learning Express Play, an upscale childrenâ€™s play franchise which opened its first location in Bedford, MA in September 2016. Prior to launching Dronegenuity, Edmonson worked for Babson businessÂ DARTdrones Flight School, another successful Massachusetts startup in the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) industry.