The sky is the limit for the future of drones

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The Federal Aviation Administration announced early this year that the total number of drones now registered with them has surpassed one million. Drone pilot Mike Henry says drones are being used in a number of ways. 

“In the real estate, we also see aerial videography in construction. You can also extend that to first responders, police, fire rescue,” said Henry. 

As more drone related job opportunities expand across the country, drone education programs are really taking off.

Schools and universities are responding to accommodate area businesses and residents who need to be trained and certified to take to the skies. 

“Folks really want to expand outside of just the people doing inspections,” said Samantha Brill of Lord Fairfax Community College.

Brill says drone certifications are becoming huge resume builders. 

“If they have an employee who is certified and has that training, they’re going to be able to do a lot of inspecting and do a lot of different things quicker and cheaper,” said Brill.

LFCC offers a three-level course that many local businesses have taken advantage of. Henry says flying a drone is easy to learn but hard to master . 

“Rules about when you can fly. Where you can fly, it’s quite complex when you get into it. And it’s all covered by the courses that LFCC’s offering,” said Henry.

Although the drone business is soaring and people may be excited to start, Henry adds that there is no substitute for good education and good training.

 “When you leave the ground you’re an aircraft, no different than any other airplane or helicopter, expect that you have to give them the right of way, same rules same regulations,” said Henry.

The U.S. Drone industry has seen a commercial growth  from 40 million dollars in 2012 to over a billion dollars in 2017.

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