We’re proud to see members emerging from lockdown stronger and more determined than ever
When Drone Safe Register was launched we had no idea how the industry would develop in the UK. CEO and founder, Mark Boyt, set out to create an organisation to represent the interests of the very best drone pilots and to promote safe and legal use of drones.
Four years later DSR is standing strong as one of the leading business network groups in the UK, and that’s a credit to the professionalism and dedication of our members.
Events of 2020 have been a real challenge for DSR as an organisation, and we’re proud that we’ve helped so many drone operators to stay in the business and continue trading through the turbulent months of the pandemic.
A crisis like this affects people in many different ways, but what we’ve seen at DSR is co-operation, members pulling together more than ever.
This has to be the way forward for the drone industry. Yes we can compete with each other, but by working cohesively we can raise standards, educate the public and promote the commercial benefits of drones so they are adopted across all sectors.
Some might think the CAA have a role to play in safe, professional use of drones and developing use commercially. Unfortunately that’s not the case. In fact at DSR we feel they’ve let professional drone operators down.
We believe as many as half the people entering the industry in the past year won’t be renewing their authorisations. The amount of money wasted on training, setting up businesses and buying drones and equipment is scandalous. We see zero enforcement by the CAA meaning that professional operators are forever competing against the cowboys with nothing like the overheads and a disregard for safe and ‘legal’ operation.
To make matters worse, the CAA’s poor record of setting out robust rules and communicating them effectively has led to utter confusion. New rules are on the way and no doubt vast sums of money have been set aside for marketing campaigns. Based on experience to date, views of stakeholders and those actually working in the drone industry will be ignored.
Yet more operators will exit the industry if they don’t know where to turn for help and support. We’ve no doubt DSR members will help each other through this as they have with other challenges.
It’s great to see how members have supported each other and truly lived up to the idea of a network.
Others have tried to copy DSR but it takes years to achieve what we have, and the best operators in the industry are on board with us. In spite of the pandemic member renewal rate is so high we can now push forward with further investment.
This year we’ve already launched Drone Safe Store and our file transfer service. We’re proud to see members emerging from lockdown stronger and more determined than ever. Every day there are offers of work, pilots sharing ‘white label’ jobs and even lending each other kit.
Best of all our community is free from trolling by industry clowns seen in other forums and networks. We have the most experienced and knowledgeable operators in the UK, but newcomers are welcome and it’s a safe environment to learn.
Most drone operators are sole traders and have left secure jobs to launch a venture into something they have a passion for.
As well as being a lonely life it’s hard to run a business when you’re doing everything from sales & marketing to the hard graft at the coal face. There’s no such thing as ‘9 to 5’ in a small business either – early starts and late evenings are common! Being part of DSR means you’re never on your own and it’s a safe environment to ask for help, share ideas and even just to chat to likeminded people who are in the same boat.
Surviving financially and mentally through the first half of 2020 shows how committed operators are to make it in the drone industry. It’s always been tough, but this has been the ultimate test for many. Drone Safe Register will continue to support the industry – the virus hasn’t stalled our plans for development and expansion.
The next project is a review and re-launch of the Instant Quote system with input from members and users. We want to make it easier than ever for people to find a safe & legal operator to carry out roof inspections, aerial photography, film and other work at a fair price. This is good for customers, good for members and good for our industry.
Together we’re stronger.
The DSR website typically had 10 to 15 hits a day at the start but with time and investment it’s now 700-800 hits a day. Customers who find us often come back with more work and this is all down to conduct and professionalism of our group.
We’ve also got the credibility and reputation to work with large businesses and national accounts now. The technical knowledge in the network is second to none – the DSR team don’t know everything commercial drone operations but as a network we do. It’s so frustrating to see so many people leaving what’s an exciting industry with huge potential but it’s understandable if they don’t know where to turn for help.