Adam Cockerill decided that becoming a drone pilot was the perfect the way to escape the daily grind of corporate life. So he quit his job as a marketing guy at an education technology company in the Cayman Islands and founded AirVu, a company that provides aerial photography and other stuff via drones. But he hit a snag when the company applied for a drone license.
Regulators asked him to put together what’s called an aviation standard operations manual, and that’s not something he could do.
So Cockerill called on SkyWard, a Portland, Oregon-based company that helps drone operators navigate local regulations. With SkyWard’s help, AirVu finally secured a license in the Cayman Islands, and now, Cockerill says, the company may expand throughout the Caribbean.
In addition to helping customers determine what they need to do in order to follow laws, Skyward offers mobile apps and other software for logging flights, tracking pilot certifications, and managing other information that regulators and insurance companies require. “It’s essential,” Cockerill says. “I honestly don’t know how other operators are managing—if they’re managing—without a software system.”
But eventually, Skyward wants to automate the entire compliance process. Not only would you be notified if you’re flying your drone too close to an occupied airspace, but you’d actively be prevented from doing it—making it much harder to accidentally break the law, or do something potentially unsafe.
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Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com