Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an unmanned aircraft system. Also called a pilotless aircraft system, the phrase "UAS" is often used interchangeably with the word "drone", but there is a difference. If you’re just talking about the part that goes into the air, you can refer to that as a drone or an unmanned aerial vehicle, but UAS actually refers to the whole system: the flying vehicle, the remote control, and their communications system.
When many people thinks of drones, they imagine a small flying object that carries a camera, and that definitely falls under the umbrella of unmanned aircraft system , but there are also much larger vehicles, more powerful vehicles in this category. The Orion UAS, for example, is a military drone that can carry 1,179 kg of surveillance equipment and munitions and can fly for over 120 hours at a maximum altitude of 9,144 meters.
However, the arms industry isn’t the only one using drones. Businesses are embracing drones for a range of purposes from delivering packages to shooting aerial photography to spraying fertilizer on fields. Sound interesting? Well, if you want to use a UAS for your business, you just need to make sure you’re compliant with the laws, and as of 2018, Transport Canada is bringing out some new rules. Luckily, the rules are all straightforward and easy to follow.
In all cases, you need to be at least 14, pass a basic knowledge test, and have liability insurance. You also have to stay a certain distance from airports, heliports, and people. If the drone is over 1 kg and up to 25 kg, you need to be at least 16, and in urban areas, you need to get permission from air control before flying in controlled airspace.
UASs or drones continue to decrease in price, while their ranges increase and their features flourish. With the strategic use of UASs in your business, you may be able to offer more services, automate some functions, improve your existing services, or potentially even cut costs. The sky is the limit.