MAD staffer earns drone certification

Aaron Laver practicing for drone certification

While most people today know what a drone is, many people don’t directly see how drones are changing the world around us.  The utility of drones is limited only by the imagination, and as such, their use is revolutionizing many industries across the globe. In agriculture, drones are being used to quickly and efficiently assess crop yields, and even care for crops.  In real estate, drones are being used to inspect anything high, hard to get to, and out of reach, such as roofing and high-rise buildings. In archaeology, drones are uncovering lost civilizations at a never-before-seen rate (check out this article, “Lost Civilizations, Found by Drones” to see how thermal imaging is revolutionizing archaeology). Marketing, tourism, engineering and infrastructure inspection—all being changed by drones.  In ecology, drones are no doubt changing the game, too, but drone capabilities are largely still being realized.  Here at MAD, we see how drones are revolutionizing the industry for the better across the globe, and that’s why we’ve taken great strides to ensure we’re joining industry leaders with this relatively new and effective technology.

Aerial drone shot taken by Aaron at Heckert Nature Preserve - Crawford County Park District

Today, our efforts have paid off! Aaron, our GIS specialist, after many hours of study,  education, and flight time, recently received certification to fly small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS; more commonly referred to as drones) under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 107.  In layman’s terms: While he’s been flying recreationally for quite some time, Aaron is now qualified and capable of performing aerial operations in a commercial setting.  This new certification will be put to good use starting immediately, as MAD will now specialize in providing our clients with low altitude, high resolution aerial photography and videography services.  We anticipate adding other drone-related services in the future as demand dictates, but for now, we will incorporate UAS aerial imagery both as a standalone service, as well as an addition to our existing field activities to increase our own efficiency.  As a standalone service, aerial photography and videography will be available for our clients for whatever reasons may be needed (e.g., inspection, marketing, property aquisition, etc.).  As an addition to our existing field services, we may use UAS imagery for projects such as mitigation monitoring and site selection, wetland creation and restoration, and perhaps even large-scale delineation efforts to increase efficiency prior to getting our “boots on the ground.” It’s clear that drones have made evident their place in the future, and we’ve made it our top priority to ensure that our clients are receiving today’s most accurate and efficient service, while utilizing state-of-the-art technology.  We’re here to move forward to better understand, evaluate, manage, enhance, protect, and utilize lands and waters to improve our world, one project at a time.  If you’re interested in our UAS aerial imagery services, please contact us to get more info!