Drone Complier is software to by which companies can in a simple way ensure that they remain compliant with the ruling authorities legal requirements for drone operations. It is based upon best practices from years of commercial drone operations and it incorporates these principals into an automated process by which companies can plan their operations and meet the regulatory requirements.
Most companies are familiar with the need to function in a manner that meets or exceeds the legal expectations for their industry. Whether its food production, manufacturing, or a public entity there are basic principals that need to be employed such that the company is protected from mishaps as a result of daily operations. Flying a drone is no different. In the United States the Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for these rules and as of the writing of this article there are an additional 313 laws in some state of legal process across the nation. Many of these laws have direct implications not only to the operator of the drone but to the company that hired the drone operator. The need for ensuring that your operations meet these legal and regulatory requirements is a daunting task and can become a full time job very quickly. This is just part of the real value that Drone Complier brings. Because the software encodes these laws into the functionality of the application compliance is automatic. If you are planning a mission the rules based software will automatically bring in the necessary compliance mandates into the mission so that the operators in the field function according to the authority they are flying under.
Here is an example: Airspace regulations. How many operators really understand the meaning of the airspace they are flying under. The good news regarding drones is that when flying below 400 feet there are very few manned aircraft that low. The risk for a drone and a manned aircraft ending up in the same piece of sky below 400 feet is very small. It is also fortunate that the majority of drones are the DJI Phantom which is not much heavier than a large bird. Yes the components are different and can do more damage but in general when comparing mass they are similar. I used to fly the FA-18 and we would fly low level missions at 200 feet during training exercises. Flying at 600 miles per hour down low does not provide a lot of time to react and we used to live by the 1 second rule. It’s a methodology of scanning your environment and dedicating time between flying the jet and assessing the terrain. Hitting anything at that altitude and speed is catastrophic and it does not matter if it is a small bird or a drone bad things will happen. In this airspace example it may be easy to understand the need to not fly near an airport but how many operators know where the low level routes are? These routes fly through remote airspace where there is less risk with a collision with other aircraft but this airspace because it is less dense is also where drones are allowed to fly. How do you know where its safe to fly? Aviation is about reducing risk to an acceptable point. Drone complier is a tool to help companies reduce that risk to a level where operations can occur with an understanding of the perceived risk based upon mitigation policies adopted by the company.
It is truly important to understand that as much a we as drone operators don’t think anything bad will ever happen there is an entire insurance industry that makes their living off of such events occurring. Risks are real and it does not matter what type of vehicle you are flying manned or unmanned flight operations have to be approached with a formulaic discipline so that repeatable and safe operations can occur. In traditional aviation this is done through documents called Flight Operations Manuals, Safety Management Systems, and corporate policies established through best practices. For pilots that learn to fly these become standard every day operational guidelines that rule how a pilot makes decisions when faced with unforeseen circumstances. Drone Complier is a tool that bridges the gap between what is understood and accepted in manned aviation and translates these best practices into a simple easy to use SAAS model such that anyone can feel confident that they are performing to a standard that ensures compliance on part with FAA best practices.
The FAA is looking to make examples of companies when mistakes are made. They do not have the resources to audit every company flying a drone. Our company has been audited and it was regarding shipping of our batteries which are considered hazardous cargo. Does your company have a battery policy? What type of batteries are you using and how will you perform in an audit? Batteries may be one of the greatest risks you have in running a drone company and they can be a real risk for fire. The fines that are associated with hazardous cargo are steep and can even result in criminal prosecution. Is your CEO ready to accept liability and criminal prosecution? Rumors on the street indicate that lawyers have pre filled out claims and just left the names blank waiting for the right case to move forward.
Its not all doom and gloom and there are ways to prevent becoming the poster child for the drone community. First start with a tool like Drone Complier and understand that successful companies treat their operations with the foundation that safety and compliance are necessary bedrocks to function. This has to be the beginning point with the establishment of a culture where there is value in the understanding of and the reduction of the operational risks. For any successful program there needs to be a training program and a chain of accountability to hold operators and companies in check with the legal requirements of Federal and Local laws. Our software Drone Complier manages all of this in a simple manner that companies who are not traditional aviation companies can understand and give the executive team the insights necessary to ensure compliance.