DRONEZONE DOWNUNDER NEWS Edition 3

BEFORE YOU TAKE THE PLUNGE
LEARN FROM THOSE WHO ALREADY HAVE
Before taking the plunge in to a drone business, DroneZone DownUnder offers a golden opportunity to learn from the experience of others and hear what is actually required to operate commercially.

 

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Hear specialists in drone flying and consulting, experienced experts who have started drone companies and those who have incorporated drones in to an existing business model.

The showcase hall will feature manufacturers, drone flying schools, repairers, suppliers and retailers along with service providers demonstrating how drones can change your business applications.

 

With three days of Free to Attend conferences and seminars featuring expert presenters, the Avalon Airshow DroneZone DownUnder Showcase offers business ideas and solutions.  This is a golden opportunity to learn from the experience of others and hear the key lessons directly from people who have turned a passion in to a successful business.

The DroneZone DownUnder at Australian International Airshow 2019 will operate from 9am-6pm Friday 1 March through to Sunday 3 March.

 

 

DIGITAL RECORD KEEPING LETS YOU FOCUS ON FLYING
There’s an old saying in the aviation industry that an aircraft is ready to fly when the required paperwork weighs around the same as the aircraft.

Armidale based DroneLogbook Australia’s Scott Hamey said the drone industry was going the same way until recently.

 

“With today’s fast growth of technology enabling the use of drones for recreation and commercial use, we are starting to see an increase of users transitioning over to digital logbook and digital regulation record keeping platforms to reduce their need for paper documents and records, so they can focus on flying,” he said.
Regulation, maintenance, flight planning and operational compliance requirements will grow with expanding fleets of increasingly cost-effective drones performing even more sophisticated tasks.

Through DroneLogbook operators can create projects, plan missions, generate custom checklists, check the status of the airspace to be used for planned flights, import flight logs and replay flight logs in 3D view. It will even alert operators to upcoming maintenance and generate CASA compliance reports in seconds.

 

“Operators have instant access to pre-flight checklists, digital permission forms with digital sign off feature and risk assessments, all available via the app or cloud software,” Mr Hamey said.

“One of our largest Australian customers has done more than 1600 flights and they have all the information from every one of those flights at their fingertips for regulatory compliance, maintenance and operational tracking, even for an insurance claim if the drone is ever involved in an incident. Dronelogbook globally is logging over 7500 flights per week.”

DroneLogbook’s Scott Hamey
With Scott Hamey’s appointment as DroneLogbook’s Senior Partner in Australia, the Swiss company is intending to host the Australian DroneLogbook software platform on the Australian Amazon AWS Cloud and introducing a new mobile app that will handle up to 80 per cent of an operator’s workflow in the field.

Find out more about DroneLogbook at the DroneZone DownUnder Showcase, 1-3 March 2019.

 

DRONES ARE THE “TRACTOR” OF PRECISION AGRICULTURE

 

 For Fly The Farm founder Meg Kummerow, growing up on a Queensland beef cattle property and a career spanning the feedlot, cotton and grain industries leave her in no doubt that farmers are less interested in the hype surrounding drones than they are about the useful data they can deliver.

“Farmers are interested in anything that reduces inputs and cost or increases yield,” she said.

“When I talk to farmers about drones I tell them it’s another tractor. You can use them for different applications depending on the equipment you attach.

“The different cameras and sensors on a drone are like the planter or sprayer on a tractor. However, it is the end result of that operation that we are after, the seeds coming out of the ground or in the drone case the data that is collected.”

 

Kummerow will present on Precision Farming with Ag Drones on Friday 1 March at the 2019 DroneZone Downunder Showcase. She believes ag drones have the potential to deliver timely, detailed livestock and cropping data that can quickly translate to savings or increased revenue.

“We once had to replant an entire cotton field when it was damaged in a storm,” she said. “If we’d had a drone we could have mapped the actual damage to the crop and replanted only where we needed to. Cotton seed isn’t cheap.”

But she also believes some of the hype needs to be dispelled. Drones won’t be spraying broadacre crops anytime soon, or replacing qualified human experts.

“Some people say that when you have a drone you won’t need your agronomist anymore, but that’s not right. But you can have a better informed agronomist.”

Kummerow’s presentation is pragmatic and informed, warning drone operators to be aware that they are entering a regulated aviation environment shared by ag aircraft, showing how changed machinery use can affect yield in a single paddock and pointing out that collection of detailed data is only of use if there is a system to apply it.

 

EMPLOYERS ASKING FOR DRONE EXPERIENCE IN JOB ADS 
 Surveyors, photographers, real estate agents, farmers and commercial building experts are just a few of the employees who are learning to use drones as part of their existing positions, and increasingly seeing the skill listed as a prerequisite in job advertisements.

 

For Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) Executive Director Greg Tyrrell, growth in licensed drone pilots in Australia is often the logical result of a company handing the new technology to experienced people they already employ.

“The most successful drone operators are usually those who already understand the field in which they are operating and see the drone as a new tool to help get the job done more efficiently or in new ways,” Tyrrell said.

“So a lot of companies are training their existing personnel to operate drones as part of their duties.”