Part 1: Starting a UAS Program

< Getting Started

Starting a UAS program can be a daunting task, but Gresco is here to guide you every step of the way. Our team has put together this guide to help you as you begin. We have outlined five steps to take to make your program a success.

1.  The first step is to establish a team involving stakeholders in the organization. This can include anyone that is appropriate and we would recommend you consider the following groups: drone pilots, Engineering, IT, Procurement, Legal, Compliance & Safety

2.  The next step to take is to draft a policy for your organization. This will provide clarity for your organization and help to steer your organization in the right direction. This document should include documentation regarding some of the following items: definition of responsibilities, drone pilot requirements, data handling and retention, insurance requirements, public/customer engagement, and operational risk definitions.

3.  The next step is to begin the process of pilot training and certification. This includes choosing your pilots and creating a small initial team. These pilots must then prepare, take, and pass the FAA Remote Pilot Certification Exam. After pilots pass that exam, it is important to train them on the operational side and is a good practice to have.

4.  The next step is to specify initial equipment. This involves determining what data needs to be captured so that you can determine what equipment will be the best fit. You will next need to choose your sensor payload, specify a compatible airframe, and specify your field accessory equipment.

5.  Next, begin developing standard operating procedures for your program. This can start with initial pilot use cases, understanding the capabilities and limitations of equipment, and then use that information to develop standard operating procedures. Your team should develop risk-based operating procedures and document what was learned through your research. As you scale your program, it is important to continue to train to your standard operating procedures. Watch the other videos in this series to continue learning how to get started with your drone program.

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