Are you a security company that does NOT currently offer airborne CCTV patrols as part of the services you offer to your clients?

Are you a security company that does NOT currently offer airborne CCTV patrols as part of the services you offer to your clients?

Are you a security company that does NOT currently offer airborne CCTV patrols as part of the services you offer to your clients?

Are you a security company that does NOT currently offer airborne CCTV patrols as part of the services you offer to your clients?

Former police officer, and Iprosurv franchisee and drone operator Martin explains where Vastly experienced flying drones at music festivals, public protests, football matches and providing live-time feeds into controls.

Martin also has extensive experience in drone surveillance, thermal and visual searches of rural and urban environments for vulnerable and missing persons, aerial photography & videography. This vast experience makes Martin ideally placed to understand your drone security requirements. Get in touch to see how Martin and the Iprosurv team can help you develop your business and give you an edge over your competitors.

Are Drones Part of Your Toolbox for Airborne Security

Are you a security company that does NOT currently offer airborne CCTV patrols as part of the services you offer to your clients?

If not, then maybe you need to be asking yourself, WHY NOT, because your competitors are certainly starting to offer it. Do you really want to get left behind and see your clients go elsewhere?

HOW DO DRONES IMPROVE YOUR SECURITY BUSINESS?

Drones are a valuable tool in your planning and preparation, through the use of aerial site surveys and inspections. Benefits of drones over other traditional methods include but are not limited to:

  • Ease of surveying locations that are difficult or expensive to access reduce health and safety risks when surveying sites
  • Provide accurate mapping data in comparison to Google Earth/Maps or other mapping applications
  • Efficiently identify vulnerable perimeter locations
  • Effectively identify evacuation routes and RV points as well as entry/regress points (particularly relevant for public events such as festivals etc.

PUBLIC EVENTS/LARGE GATHERINGS

The use of drones at large gatherings and/or public events, such as music festivals, country shows etc, cannot be overstated, within the world of security. They provide:

  • Eye in the sky CCTV
  • Live link viewing into your command and control centre Effective Crowd Monitoring
  • Crime Prevention/Detection Mobile aerial security patrols
  • Perimeter patrols – prevent unwanted or non-paying persons
  • Immediate response to incidents, providing situational awareness and overview
  • Allows ground resources to be deployed effectively
  • Immediate response to incidents, providing situational awareness and immediate overview
  • Allows ground resources to be deployed effectively
  • Mobile public address systems and spotlight capability (drone model dependent)

SITES and PREMESES

Whether your clients requirements are a construction site, vacant premises, a distribution centre or educational premises, the use of drones provide an additional and valuable level of security, that will give you the edge of your competitors.

Uses include but not limited to:

  • Complimenting or replacing human static and mobile resources
  • Regular surveys to provide a continual intelligence picture of the location
  • Mobile perimeter patrols – aerial patrols can be conducted more effectively due to camera technology
  • Thermal imagining cameras can detect potential criminal activity that the human eye cannot see.
  • Several aerial patrols can be conducted in same time as a human resource foot patrol
  • Thermal imaging of buildings to detect issues such as fires or floods
  • Asset monitoring

Iprosurv and its security experts are on hand to provide businesses with sound, professional, bespoke advice for your business, weather you want to out source drone operations as part of your business plan or want to be able to offer your clients and in house solution such as Iprosurv’s managed service, we can help.

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Former Police Drone Pilot – Joins Iprosurv Franchise

When you’ve spent as long as I have in the police force (27 years!!), you can get to a point where nothing much surprises or fazes you. That was certainly me up until 2020 when I discovered the power of drones.

https://iprosurv.com/2022/05/10/former-police-drone-pilot-joins-iprosurv-franchise/

I held a range of roles in my time in the police force from firearms officer and road policing to lead investigating officer and trauma risk incident manager. But when I caught wind of drones and how they could assist the police and other emergency services in their work, I knew I wanted to get involved. I knew that drones could make a real difference to the police and the communities that rely on us.

So, in September 2020, I qualified as a drone pilot and was one of the first to obtain the Civil Aviation Authority General Visual Line of Sight qualification. I was deployed to a range of situations from crime scenes and road traffic accidents to natural disasters such as floods and storms. We also started using drones to help us police crowded spaces such as public events, protests, music festivals and football matches.

Of course, a drone can never replace a police officer but the impact they had on our operations was incredible. The oversight, insight and hard data they provided to us in near real time was invaluable and they are rapidly becoming a core tool in every police force’s box.

Iprosurv Security and emergency services

But like all good things, my career with the police came to an end in April this year but I knew I had only just begun my exploration of drones and what they are capable of. But knowing you want something and figuring out how to do it are two entirely different matters. I knew I had to find the right partner for this next phase in my career.

That was when I found Iprosurv. A well-established, nationwide, technically advanced company that had a real focus on professionalism and raising the profile of commercial drones was looking for new franchisees to help expand the reach of drones even further.

That sounded good to me and when I saw the enthusiasm for drones that Rebecca has and her conviction that our use of drones is still in its infancy, convinced me that I had found the perfect organisation to allow me to enter the world of commercial drone operations.

Iprosurv Academy

While it’s all very new, it’s all very similar at the same time. I have lots of practical experience in the kinds of applications that Iprosurv want to see drones being used in and the recent establishment of the Iprosurv training academy means that I can bring my experience to more and more pilots across the country.

It’s an exciting time for drone technology, for Iprosurv and of course for me. Like Rebecca I believe we have only just scratched the surface of what drones are capable of and I can’t wait to get started in spreading the word and the enthusiasm for drones far and wide under the Iprosurv banner.

Rebecca Jones CEO Iprosurv

“Martin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Iprosurv and we are looking forward to supporting him on his journey with us, Martin due to his past experience will be a great asset and a great addition to the team especially in our security sector”

CEO Iprosurv Rebecca Jones

You can visit my webpage to find out more about me and the services I can offer HERE

You can also visit the Iprosurv opportunities’ page to find out more about being an Iprosurv Partner HERE

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Are we nearing the drone tipping point?

In the beginning

Rebecca Jones CEO Iprosurv

Rebecca Jones is the CEO and Co-founder of Iprosurv: When we started Iprosurv, we knew we didn’t just have to build a business. In many ways we, along with all the other commercial drone providers, had to build a whole new sector from scratch and that is no easy task.

And when you are targeting the insurance sector, not necessarily known for its ability to embrace change, that task becomes much harder. But in the last seven or so years, we have made good progress in insurance and our pilots are regularly instructed on a range of insurance projects from building inspections to flood damage assessment and everything in between.

Slow progress

If I’m honest though, the progress has been slower than we imagined. We have spent an inordinate amount of time with individual businesses across the insurance spectrum, showing them what drones can do and how they can make a range of insurance processes much more efficient, safe and cost effective.

Slow Progress

That hands-on approach works but it takes time, time that I’m not sure the insurance industry has if it is to digitise its processes in the way it says it wants to. But according to some recent research conducted by Research in Insurance in conjunction with Iprosurv, we could be about to reach a tipping point in the adoption of drones in insurance.

Open door?

When asked if they would use drones if they reduced the claims life cycle (which we have proven they do), not one insurer said that they wouldn’t use them with only 6% of brokers ruling the idea out. That sounds like an open door for Iprosurv but if this is the case, why isn’t every insurer and broker using them?

When asked why they hadn’t yet adopted drones, 54% of respondents said it was because they didn’t have the influence to introduce them to the business and around a third said there was a lack of appetite higher up in the organisation.

This research shows that appetite for using drones was highest among employees at support levels which suggests that we have some work to do to convince the decision makers (who aren’t necessarily at the front line) of the benefits of drones. Their people appear to want to use them so why aren’t management responding?

Education and understanding is key

It seems clear that this challenge is on us, the drone providers. Nearly a third of insurers (32%) and 28% of brokers admitted that they just don’t understand the tech with 11% of insurers and 30% of brokers saying they don’t see a need.

It’s clear there is an education job here for all commercial drone providers. While those on the front line may see the potential benefit, they are not the ones whose necks are on the line when it comes to making the decision to use them.

So it’s on us as providers to ensure that the decision makers ‘get it’ and can see for themselves that drones offer a completely new way of managing not just claims but also conducting surveys for risk management.

Cost benefits?

We need to show them not just the tech, but the practical cost benefits that they can bring to almost any organisation. And we need to show them that drones are set to play a key role in the industry-wide drive towards digitisation.

When asked what kind of technology they would like to see used more in the industry, drones proved to be the fifth most popular behind automated claims processing, claims portals, greater us of videos and cameras and the introduction of claims apps, out of a total of 20 choices.

Everything appears to be in place. Frontline employees get it. Organisations see drones playing a key role in digitisation. And not one insurer said that they wouldn’t use drones if they reduced the claims life cycle.

Keeping the faith

These are really solid foundations to build upon and if we can educate and convince decision makers that drones are safe, the data they produce is handled compliantly and that they can streamline processes that have remained largely unchanged for decades, we may finally get to that tipping point.

Everything everyone in the commercial drone sector has done to date is having an impact. The research shows that. Now we just need to keep the faith.

The appetite is there but it is being dampened by lingering suspicions about drone technology. That is the bit we need to crack, I think. That is the bit that is preventing us from reaching tipping point. And it is that bit that we all now need to focus on.

From this point on, it has to be all about education, education, education. Once we deliver that, there’s no telling how integral drones may become in insurance.

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

Posted in General Interest, Iprosurv News

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We Will Remember Them 11/11/2021


With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal,
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation,
And a glory that shines upon her tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known,
As the stars are known to the night.


As the stars will be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

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Iprosurv: Leading the way to a more professional sector

Andrew Hamilton, Iprosurv’s new Director of Training and Development, talks about how he believes training and practical experience are the only way the commercial drone sector will secure the public trust that it needs to thrive.

It’s always exciting to start out on a new part of your career but joining Iprosurv as Director of Training and Development is particularly exciting as it feels we are on the cusp of something big.

Rebecca, the CEO of Iprosurv, will tell you that getting industry switched on to the potential of drones wasn’t an overnight thing and she and co-founder Shane have spent the last seven years convincing the world of business, one sector and one organisation at a time, that drones can revolutionise their operations.

And of course, they’ve not been alone in that – there are a growing number of commercial drone operators up and down the country doing the same and it is great to see them turning more and more organisations on to drones.

But that growth comes with a risk. There is still a general wariness of drones and while some organisations have plunged in, the majority are still dipping their toe to see what happens.

What every company experiences when they try drones for the first time, will have an impact on their perception of the drone sector and that one experience with one pilot can have serious consequences for all of us. Our collective reputation is at risk with every flight undertaken which is why it is so important that every flight is performed to the highest standards.

While it is a concern, it is also a huge opportunity for everyone in the sector which is why I’m so excited to have joined Iprosurv and to get started on the training.

My introduction to drones

I got into training by accident really. In 2013, I bought my first Phantom 1 with GoPro Hero 3 camera attached and after completing my drone training I was awarded my first PfCO in October 2014.

At the time, I was a serving Police Officer on the Roads Policing Unit where I was involved in investigating fatal road traffic collisions. At the time, we relied on the police helicopter to provide the aerial footage for our investigations but during one investigation the police helicopter was redeployed to a life-threatening incident and I was unable to get the aerial footage I needed.

So I decided to bring my drone out on patrol with me. Looking at the data the drone had collected was a big moment as we could all see in that one deployment how much more efficient and effective they could be.

I retired from the Police in 2016 but returned in 2017 to set up the first dedicated Police drone unit in the UK with up to 40 pilots and 15 drones. After their initial PfCO courses the drone unit would then teach the officers to fly drones in policing situations which is when my passion for teaching and training revealed itself.

That passion took to me to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as their UAS Sector lead, where I led a team dealing with OSC applications, auditing, oversight and enforcement of drone operators.

From there I became the Lead Instructor for an RAE delivering drone training on behalf of the CAA. The role of an RAE is to assist the CAA in assuring the competence of remote pilots that require an Operational Authorisation through the General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC).

The competency of UA pilots involved in the operation of an unmanned aircraft is one of the main factors in ensuring UA operations remain tolerably safe and give confidence for this industry.

And that was me – hooked on training new drone pilots and providing real flight time experience to them.

It’s all about professionalism

One of the key things that attracted me to Iprosurv was Rebecca and Shane’s commitment to high standards of training for all their pilots and their insistence that the sector had to become more professional if it was ever to fully realise its potential.

The training and development of all pilots in the Iprosurv network, supporting them as they take the step in flight ability and safety, is my number one priority and the more training we provide in new technology, techniques and regulatory requirements, the more professional our pilots will become.

As that professionalism starts to act as a differentiator for Iprosurv, others will hopefully be galvanised to similarly invest in best practice and training. Everyone operating in the commercial drone sector needs to continually challenge themselves and their peers to achieve ever higher standards.

If we do that for ourselves and for each other, I am convinced that we will all secure the trust from the public and from business that we need to ensure that commercial drones secure their rightful place as an intrinsic part of the economy.

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

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Training and professionalism come to the fore as Iprosurv hires former CAA drone sector lead

Andrew Hamilton, former Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) sector lead for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has joined one of the UK’s leading drone services providers, Iprosurv as Training and Development Director.

Ongoing Training and Mentoring

In his new role, Hamilton will be responsible for providing practical and theoretical training in the use of commercial drones to members of Pilot Partnerships, Iprosurv’s growing drone pilot network.

With nearly a decade’s experience in commercial drone flight, Hamilton brings a huge amount of training experience to Iprosurv having set up the UK’s first dedicated police drone unit with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and having acted as lead instructor for a Recognised Assessment Entity on behalf of the CAA.

As all Iprosurv pilots are fully trained and licensed, Hamilton’s role will focus on providing ongoing training and mentoring in new technology and deployment techniques, education on developing regulation and providing practical training for new pilots.

Pilot Partners Highest Industry Standards

Commenting on the appointment, Rebecca Jones, CEO and co-founder of Iprosurv, said: “Andy brings a huge amount of personal flight experience and, most importantly, in training other pilots so we are delighted to have him on board.

“Iprosurv has always had a clear mission to hold ourselves and our pilots to the highest professional and technical standards and with Andy joining us, we can take that to the next level.”

While Hamilton will start work with members of Pilot Partnerships with immediate effect, he has begun the approval process of securing CAA approved training entity status for Iprosurv.

“After gaining your CAA Operational Authorisation, technically, a pilot is eligible to operate a drone in a very congested area like central London,” said Hamilton.

“The standards set by the CAA are high but the opportunity to gain the skills and experience after qualification is missing at the moment and that is the gap I hope to help Iprosurv fill. In much the same way that the Pass Plus is often used by new drivers, we want to introduce the Pass Plus for drone flight.

Training Consistency

“There are many thousands of commercial drone pilots operating in the UK but there is still a huge variation in quality and flight experience. We have to tackle that lack of consistency if we are going to earn the necessary trust of the public and the private sectors.”

Pilot Partnerships was set up earlier this year to provide a professional home for the thousands of independent pilots across the country, delivering consistent training and flight management processes and embedding strong professional standards.

“We are just one of many commercial drone providers in the UK, but what makes Iprosurv pilots stand out is the level of experience they have and the rigorous and continuous training they undertake,” said Jones.

“With Andy joining us, our pilots now have access to one of the most experienced individuals in the market in training and development and we look forward to introducing his expertise to more and more pilots across the country.”

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

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How drones are revolutionizing the telecom industry

From agriculture to engineering, insurance, and infrastructure, the enterprise use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, is on the rise.

PwC estimates that the total market value of drone-powered enterprise solutions will exceed $127bn, with the value of drones to communication service providers accounting for nearly $20bn.

For telecom operators, drones open the door to a range of opportunities. Due to the costs and expertise required to provide these solutions, it is not viable for individual organizations to establish their capabilities; and there lies the opportunity for telecom operators.

The benefit of drone technology is not a new concept in the telecom industry. In 2016, Etisalat won a prestigious Glomo Award at Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona, in recognition of the “Drones 4 Good” initiative. Etisalat’s “Drones 4 Good” came first in the ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Health’ category, as it demonstrated the use of specialized drones to transport polio vaccine to remote locations.

The benefit of drone technology is not a new concept in the telecom industry. In 2016, Etisalat won a prestigious Glomo Award at Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona, in recognition of the “Drones 4 Good” initiative. Etisalat’s “Drones 4 Good” came first in the ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Health’ category, as it demonstrated the use of specialized drones to transport polio vaccine to remote locations.

Telecoms operators are well-positioned to develop these capabilities by building on their existing strengths in connectivity, cloud, big data, and analytics, as well as capitalizing on the partnerships they already have in place to augment these capabilities.

As connectivity improves and automation increases, we can expect to see drones at the edge, completing autonomous missions, and uploading data directly to the cloud, bringing substantial business benefit to telcos and other enterprises.

Drones make it possible to perform remote engineering and network planning tasks, automate tower inspections, and enhance the measurement of wireless coverage and performance. They will help accelerate the rollout of 5G networks and enable new use cases leveraging 5G connectivity.

It appears as though the future of drones is now. And the coronavirus pandemic has certainly helped to speed up adoption and use cases for aerial fleets.

Automating inspections

The key application areas for drones in telecoms are maintenance monitoring and keeping infrastructure and installations in good condition.

In the past, technicians had to climb to the top of towers and complete a manual count on the different installed equipment. Manual inspections are usually conducted on a limited portion of the tower, meaning that many telcos don’t have a complete record of the equipment mounted on their towers or comprehensive data on whether towers have available space to host new equipment.

As a result, these companies often find themselves without a central digital repository for processing insights – and no easy way to gain meaningful, portfolio-wide intelligence.

Automated drone inspections offer a powerful alternative. Using high-precision flight planning, automated capture, and intelligent data processing, telcos can automate the tower inspection process and use drones to autonomously survey their assets.

Drones can inspect installed equipment at the top of towers or over large areas with greater speed – lowering costs and reducing the risks to staff. The drones can take pictures, videos, measurements, and readings, and store the data for later use.

AT&T launched a programme in October 2016 that uses drones to inspect cell towers. Verizon also uses drones to inspect tower sites affected by severe storm flooding. AT&T uses drones to test signal strength across different regions in the US. Nokia has performed similar experiments in the UAE.

According to the GSMA’s latest Mobile Economy report, operators will spend $1.1 trillion globally in CAPEX between now and 2025, 80% of which will be on 5G networks. These 5G networks will require telcos to build, inspect, and maintain more sites, which will ultimately serve as locations for drone technology.

Drone-powered solutions

With the telecoms market evolving and operators seeking new commercial opportunities, the potential market for drone-powered solutions (DPS) is significant.

In addition to the benefits DPS can provide to telecom operators, there is also an opportunity for telecom operators to provide these solutions as services to other organizations.

Telcos have deep expertise in connectivity, cloud computing, and big data, and already have network infrastructure in place. This means they are uniquely positioned to monetize enterprise drone operations and become expert providers of automated drone solutions to private enterprises and the public sector.

Telcos could offer DPS by building partnerships in areas related to drone procurement, data processing, and data delivery, and by leveraging their internal capabilities across the value chain.

According to a Vodafone white paper, because telcos already possess the cloud infrastructure and network capacity needed to manage, store, and archive high volumes of data, it won’t take much for them to meet the need for data live-streaming, analyse drone-collected data, and provide their customers with unique insights.

A PwC report also states that the market for DPS, excluding drone procurement, in the Gulf Cooperation Council is expected to reach US$1.5 billion by 2022. This market can be served through multiple business models, such as end-to-end commercial drone services, on-demand live video data acquisition, or a fully autonomous system operated at a client’s premises.

Drone traffic control centers

Telecom operators could help to establish a drone traffic control center (DTCC) that would enable control of drone operations, and ensure compliance with regulations.

Telecom operators can provide the connectivity required for data transfer so that drones can be tracked by airspace regulators and receive real-time air traffic information.

Telcos could facilitate the technology components of the DTCC, from end to end, by supplying and managing data storage, connectivity, cybersecurity, professional services, and applications, including a drone traffic management system and real-time reporting and analytics.

By becoming a provider of these services, telecom operators will be able to meet their own needs, quickly gain a critical mass of skills and experience, and then offer these services to the market – achieving economies of scale and building new revenue streams.

Challenges

Before telcos can seize on the efficiency and revenue-generating opportunities that drones provide, they must first be able to conduct safe and compliant drone operations. Drones fly in low-altitude airspace, which can introduce new safety and compliance concerns.

To realize the full potential of drone technologies, it will be vital to have air traffic management systems in place that prevents collisions between drones and other aircraft.

Along with the benefits with drones to the telecom industry comes a responsibility to operate them in ways that respect personal privacy. As drone operators perform flights over various types of sites, the vast amount of data they collect could include sensitive or confidential information about private property or behaviour.

Given this risk, there is a need for clear international laws and guidelines on how companies should store data, and how individuals and companies can defend their privacy rights.

The lack of clarity on this vital issue of privacy is discouraging some companies from adopting drone-powered solutions.

Article by Telecom Review

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Iprosurv takes another stride forward with new thermal imaging partnership

Iprosurv, one of the UK’s leading commercial drone providers, has bolstered its portfolio of drone services with the announcement that it has entered into a strategic partnership with thermal imaging specialists, iRed.

Established in 2002, iRed is the UK’s leader in thermal imaging, remote sensing and enterprise drone solutions and is certified by the Civil Aviation Authority for commercial drone pilots.

Under the partnership, iRed will provide Iprosurv with the latest, most accurate infrared imaging services on the market, expanding the drone operator’s existing broad range of services even further.

Best in Business Partners

Commenting on the deal, Rebecca Jones, co-founder and CEO of Iprosurv, said: “From the day we launched in 2014, we have always placed a huge amount of emphasis upon professionalism and setting the highest standards in training and technology use.

“We know where our specialisms lie and we will continue to build on them but where we don’t have the necessary level of expertise or experience, we will look to partner with the best in the business which led us to explore partnership possibilities with iRed.”

While thermal cameras are relatively commonplace in the commercial drone market, standard cameras lack the accuracy and sophistication required to provide businesses and individuals with the necessary insight.

“By partnering with iRed, we know that we are giving our clients the most up to date, accurate and detailed thermal capability on the market. We can’t reproduce that level of expertise, so we decided to partner with the best instead and make that expertise available to all of our client base.”

Commitment and Quality

Commenting on the deal, Jack Bloomfield, Marketing Manager for iRed, said: “All of our best clients come from long term partnerships. We always look to build sustained, long-term partnerships with the firms who have the same commitment to quality and professionalism that we do – and Iprosurv ticked all the boxes.

“The drone industry is still young but by sharing best practice, technology and expertise, we are working together to create the professional sector that we all want, and our clients deserve.”

The iRed is Iprosurv’s latest strategic partnership following the deals with agricultural specialist Sentera and UTM provider Altitude Angel

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For drones to thrive we all have to professionalise

Our co-founder and CEO Rebecca Jones recently wrote a blog on professionalism in the drone sector for our friends over at Coptrz, an organisation doing more than most to transform industry with drones. We encourage you to head over to their site to see what they are up to but in the meantime, we thought we’d share the blog with you.

Co-Founder and CEO of Iprosurv Rebecca Jones

After several years of hard slog, constant cajoling and buckets of patience, it feels like we, as a commercial drone community, are finally making some headway in opening up more and more sectors to the benefits that drones can bring to their operations.

Let’s not kid ourselves though – we effectively started from the bottom, working on each prospective client individually, convincing them one by one that drones aren’t just toys but essential tools in the day to day operations of many sectors.

But for all those individuals and firms we have collectively won over, we still face an uphill struggle in making drones an accepted, everyday aspect of the business landscape.

According to a piece of research conducted by PwC in 2019, Building Trust in Drones, less than a third (31%) of members of the public feel positive about the commercial use of drones. When researchers dug deeper to understand that lack of positivity, they found that the top concerns for the public were the improper use of drones (42%), the risk of use by criminals (27%) and the risk of accident (26%).

The public appear to be far more accepting of drones when they are used for search and rescue (87%), identifying and tracking criminals (80%) and supporting other emergency service efforts (84%).

The public only seem open to the use of drones in extreme circumstances rather than for day to day business use but the real threat for commercial drone operators is that this public perception is leading to reticence within the business community to deploy drones.

The same PwC study found that more than a third (35%) of business leaders believe drones are not being adopted in their industry because of negative public perceptions. That is despite the fact that 43% of those same business leaders believe that their industry will benefit from drone use.

A separate report from PwC sought to estimate the economic benefit of the widespread use of commercial drones predicting that, by 2030, drones could have increased the UK GDP by a huge £42bn. More than that, the report predicted that drones could deliver £16bn in net cost savings to the UK economy while creating 628,000 jobs.

The potential upside of commercial drone use is huge, but we seem to be caught between business appetite and public fear. So, the question we all have to try and answer is one that has dogged the drone sector from the beginning – how do we get the public to trust drones?

According to Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, the answer lies in all of us: “The drone community across industry, government and civil society needs to change the public discourse from one of uncertainties and toys, to one of opportunity and accountability.

“This can be achieved through better education on the wealth of use cases for drones, as well as increasing understanding of regulation and accountability. The public will only trust a new technology if they understand who is regulating and providing oversight.”

I wholeheartedly agree with her but since these reports came out, the Civil Aviation Authority has bent over backwards to accommodate drones, making them more and more applicable to more and more sectors. The regulator has done its bit – now it is time for the drone sector itself to step up and accept the responsibility of changing public perception.

There have been many calls over the years for greater education of the public which is fine. However, we can tell them about the benefits and safety of drones until we are blue in the face but unless they are convinced about the individuals and organisations operating in this sector and their levels of professionalism, there will always be distrust.

So how do we address that lack of trust? For me, it has to be all about professionalism, setting and meeting minimum standards of operation and accountability. I’m sure there isn’t a commercial drone operator in the country who doesn’t think they operate in a professional manner but what is deemed professional by one person could be seen as completely unacceptable by another. Which is why we need standards and targets to reach creating a baseline of competence and professionalism that the public can look to and rely upon.

Prior to setting up Iprosurv, I worked as a mortgage advisor and through that was exposed to the insurance industry, an industry that has struggled for many years with its public perception. While that industry has had a professional body, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), since 1912, its reputation has continued to suffer from public distrust.

So, around a decade ago, they introduced the concept of Chartered Status for firms (rather than just individuals) through which organisations had to commit to attaining certain levels of training and competence in their workforce to try to establish a baseline of what professional conduct and operation looked like.

Now I’m not suggesting that the drone industry needs the same approach but crucially, a consumer survey conducted by the CII found that 58% of consumers agreed that they would have more trust in advice from a chartered firm than one which is not.

But what relevance do the standards of a financial services sector have to how we operate in the commercial drone sector? The underlying principle is professionalism and we as a sector have to rapidly professionalise our individual operations and the conduct of the wider community if we are ever to realise that £42bn worth of benefit on behalf of the economy.

When a sector professionalises and does so publicly, trust follows as naturally as night follows day. So, where do we start?

Of course, we already have the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (ARPAS) acting as a trade body for UK commercial drone operators and they have an existing code of conduct. They are our sector’s central hub connecting drone operators with each other and the regulator and establishing standards that can and should be met by all individuals and firms.

Of course, we already have the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (ARPAS) acting as a trade body for UK commercial drone operators and they have an existing code of conduct. They are our sector’s central hub connecting drone operators with each other and the regulator and establishing standards that can and should be met by all individuals and firms.

This is a great start, but they can’t do it on their own – the regulation is there, the trade body is there and now it’s up to all of us to make every effort necessary to show how just how professional each of us and, by extension, our sector is.

Whether that is engaging with ARPAS – and I urge everyone to do so – or committing to certain levels of training or partnering with like-minded, professional-leaning drone operators, whatever it is, any operator that cares about the future of our sector needs to do it and do it quickly.

Greater formalisation of operations and behaviours will come naturally as the sector matures but it won’t arrive by magic. Getting to the stage where drone operators and the sector are seen as inherently respectable and professional requires the effort and commitment of every operator to get the momentum going.

And as we get the momentum going and begin to adopt those minimum standards of operation and professionalisation, it will help start to drive out some of the rogue operators that all of us see out there.

The ones who care more about quick income than creating a sector that the public can trust and rely upon, one that we can all be proud of. And I think it is incumbent upon all of us to call out those kinds of operators out, making it clear they don’t represent our industry.

I’m not having a go at people having a go at making a living out of drones but if we want to get that public trust and the business success that will flow from that trust, we have to not only hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. We have to hold each other to those same high standards.

I’m not having a go at people having a go at making a living out of drones but if we want to get that public trust and the business success that will flow from that trust, we have to not only hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. We have to hold each other to those same high standards.

If we let these rogue operators represent our industry, it would be a disaster. Not only for the wider commercial drone sector but for the wider economy and society as a whole.

This is a truly exciting industry to be operating in but being involved at these early stages of its evolution also brings a huge amount of responsibility to all of us. The regulator can guide us and ARPAS can support us and give us a voice. But neither of these bodies can professionalise us. That responsibility lies with us as individuals and as a community.

So, let’s not shirk that responsibility and instead embrace it, come together either through ARPAS, or other formal and informal networks, to work together and challenge each other to meet the highest professional standards we can.

The time for dreaming of a professional drone sector has passed – the reality of it and need for it is closer than we might think. Now is the time to turn that dream into a reality.

It requires all our efforts and focus to make it happen and it won’t appear overnight. We are in it for the long haul, but I am convinced we can and will do it. With the right motivation, willpower and yes, applying the necessary levels of professionalism to every job we do, every interaction we have with business and the public, we will get the reputation we want.

It is only through those individual efforts and by coming together as a genuine community that I believe we will make the potential benefits of commercial drones a reality for more and more sectors, up and down the country.

Rebecca Jones is the co-founder and CEO of Iprosurv, one of the UK’s leading drone services providers.

Credit for the original article Coptrz

Posted in General Interest, Iprosurv News

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