One of the hottest small business ideas in the United States today involves using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) drones for photography and video. Videos and photos taken from drones have become very popular in real estate listings and the practice has carried over into other industries as well such as wedding photography, film making and advertising. The cost of entering into the business is relatively minor and the return on investment can be very rewarding. However, entering into this business does not come without some risks…the highest risk being that fact that using drones for profit is illegal according to FAA rules!
How Much Do Aerial Drones (UAVs) Cost?
Believe it or not, you can by a highly sophisticated aerial drone equipped with HD picture and video capabilities for less than $2000 dollars.
How Much Can You Make Using Aerial Drones?
From our research, most aerial drone operators seem to charge between $200-400 per flying hour with a set minimum fee (since most drones can only fly for 10-15 minutes at a time). Some wedding photographers are offering aerial photos and videos as part of their wedding packages from a few hundred to over one thousand dollars. Obviously, the return on your investment can be quite substantial.
What License Do You Need to Operate an Aerial Drone (UAV)?
Currently, the FAA does not require any kind of special license to operate a drone, however, this may change once when the FAA considers the use of drones for commercial purposes later this year or in 2015.
Is It Legal to Use an Aerial Drone (UAV) for Commercial Purposes?
While starting a small business using aerial drones sounds like a no-brainer, there is one “small” problem overshadowing an otherwise lucrative industry. According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) the use of remote controller aircraft (including aerial drones) for commercial purposes is illegal. The FAA is expected to loosen the rules on aerial drones in the near future to include using them for commercial endeavors, but it is likely to involve the issuance of licenses and/or permits.
Should You Get Into the Aerial Drone Business?
Well many people have had success operating UAVs for profit, the activity is illegal according to federal law. With that said, the FAA is under a lot of pressure to revise its laws regarding the use of remote controlled aircraft for business purposes and will most likely lift or at least modify its regulations within the next year. In the meantime, you can get a head start on the competition by practicing with your drone now and offering your services free of charge to family and friends that way you’ll more experience when (and if) the FAA makes it legal for such business to exist. Good luck!