Drones, or ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ (UAVs), are aircraft that are piloted remotely. Having been originally designed for military use, they are now fairly commonplace. This is mainly because of their ability to make certain process safer and more efficient. So, how can you make money with a drone in 2022?
A Note About Licensing
Aerial Videography and Photography
Other Ways to Make Money with a Drone
A Note About Licensing
It is important that if you wish to operate a drone in the UK that you are registered with the Civil Aviation Authority, and adhere to their rules and guidelines. Flying in designated flight restriction zones carries significant penalties, including unlimited fines and even potential jail time.
Read more about licensing here.
Make Money with Aerial Videography and Photography
One of the most common ways to make money with a drone is with aerial videography and photography. Taking aerial photos is something that has only recently been possible without the need for a helicopter or other aircraft.
Helicopters are inaccessible and expensive to the average person, which is why drones are so great in 2022.
1. Private Aerial Videography and Photography
Just as there is for photography on the ground, there is a growing market for aerial videography and photography. A family might want an aerial image of their family home for sentimental reasons, for example. Or perhaps a couple of friends want to remember a particular holiday with aerial footage.
For sports like sailing and surfing, private drone photography and videography is a brilliant way to capture footage of a competition for training or marketing purposes, and is cost-effective alternative to hiring a helicopter.
To make money with a drone in 2022 you could set up a business providing private aerial photography and videography services to customers.
2. Event Aerial Videography and Photography
In addition to private photography and videography, there is also a growing market for aerial photos and footage of events such as weddings, corporate events and festivals.
For a couple, there’s nothing quite like aerial videography of a wedding celebration to capture the true magic of the day. Drone videography at events such as weddings is gaining popularity. It is sure to be a lucrative business model in 2022, despite the competition.
3. Property Aerial Videography and Photography
Another industry that hugely benefits from advancements in drone photography is the real estate industry. Aerial videography and photographs of houses, land and commercial buildings are slowly becoming more mainstream, since they provide a huge amount of detail that buyers value.
The main market for aerial property photography is estate agents and letting agents, although individuals selling their properties may also benefit from the service.
With the booming serviced accommodation (e.g., Airbnb) market at the moment, drone photography is also making its way into this industry, albeit mostly for the very high-end or unique properties.
Serviced accommodation that is more exclusive and imaginative, for example treehouses, glamping retreats and off-grid properties benefit hugely from aerial videography and photography.
4. TV, Film and Advertising Photography and Videography
As well as becoming more popular in private and public events, TV, film and advertising industries are more commonly using aerial videography. Freelance drone pilots are often required on set to capture high-quality aerial footage to be used in various marketing material and TV & film productions.
At the moment competition amongst businesses such as these is fairly limited. To make money with a drone in 2022, a drone photography business could be the answer!
Make Money with Drone Surveying
Site surveying and inspections are a popular use for drones. If you intend to make money with a drone by surveying in 2022 you may need additional qualifications in surveying, and must be competent at drone photography. Learn how to advance your career as a drone surveyor here.
5. Land Surveys
Drones are extremely useful tools for surveyors when it comes to surveying land. Land that is hard to reach on foot is often very difficult to accurately survey using traditional methods, so aerial videography and photography are invaluable additions that allow surveyors to build a bigger picture of the site.
6. Building Surveys
Similarly, drones are very useful for building surveys. Drones can examine a vulnerable structure without intrusion, and are much safer to carry other than traditional methods, which often involve using ladders or cranes. Drone surveys are also much more cost-effective and are quick to carry out.
Businesses and individuals can use drones for all kinds of inspections, from chimney and roof inspections, to electrical line and power station inspections. They’re great for reaching remote areas and for getting an accurate view of any damage to a site.
Aerial videography is popular with private investigators and surveillance companies monitoring sites and people. They are discreet and unobtrusive, and most of the time are a much safer option than ground surveillance.
Other Ways to Make Money with a Drone
9. Drone Rental
If you own one or multiple high-spec drones, why not rent them out? For an hourly rate you could conduct fun drone-flying lessons for those who are thinking of purchasing one.
10. Drone Wholesale
The ever-popular business model of buying goods at wholesale prices and then selling them on to consumers at retail prices is no exception when it comes to drones. The high price point of some drones means there is potential for a big markup.
Drone delivery services are fairy new, with big companies like Amazon being the only ones to use them so far. Drones are great for delivering supplies to hard-to-reach places and can be a lucrative way to make money with a drone.
12. Search and Rescue
Drones are also proving to be extremely helpful in search and rescue operations. Missing persons are often difficult to locate using traditional methods such as ground searches conducted by people and dogs, and helicopters are more expensive and limited in their use.
Freelance drone operators are often employed by local government, police and charitable organisations to help in the effort to locate missing persons.
13. Farming and Agriculture
A relatively new use for drones is their use in farming and agriculture. Farmers often have a large expanse of fields and pastures that simply can’t be monitored constantly from the ground. Drones offer a quick and cost-effective solution to farmers who want to check on the health of their crops and livestock.
If you’re an experienced drone operator and want to help others gain the licensing and skills they need to operate a drone, then why not set up an education business? The drone space is lacking education material, with regulatory bodies such as the CAA and NATS being the default option. Providing informative but affordable online courses could be a great way to make money with a drone in 2022.
Drones are also required in conservation work. Certain wildlife populations are difficult to track on the ground, and drones provide a cost-effective and safe way to monitor the position and condition of endangered wildlife.
Drones are also beginning to be used in the effort to stop poaching, as they can consistently patrol areas, acting as a deterrent and capturing aerial videography of any criminal activity, which can be relayed back to an operator in real-time.
Are looking for a UK drone survey company? Read about our services here.