Small Business Seminar takes flight

By Dan Grubb - Sampson Community College

Apparently the sky is not the limit for various seminars that are offered through the Small Business Center at Sampson Community College. This week, the SBC sponsored How To Start a Drone Business, a seminar aimed at those who either envision a new business that requires unmanned aerial vehicles or bolster the capabilities of an existing business by using them.

What began as a hobby for many drone pilots has vastly become a mainstay in the business world. Whether taking aerial photographs for real estate agencies or construction projects to delivering packages to your front door, drones are here to stay.

“Those who have a commercial license, can charge for their work,” says former Air Force pilot and instructor, Probyn Thompson. ‘Probe’, as he was referred to in his military days says it’s more than just a hobby now. “This is robotics. You need to train for something that a robot cannot be made to do. Look at self-driving automobiles—these are basically ground drones.”

Thompson, CEO of Air Probe UAV, approached SCC’s Small Business Center with the idea to offer the class. “This is becoming a very important area for all aspects of business,” says Bart Rice, Director of SCC’s Small Business Center. “Commercial drone operations is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration now. If you don’t have a Part 107 license before you fly for compensation, you could get fined.”

Besides obvious uses in the military, drones are often used for search and rescue, accident and crime scene investigations, for Precision Agriculture to help farmers increase crop yields and decrease costs, for scouting locations for construction, observing endangered species and even delivering packages to your front doorstep. Anyone interested in learning more about the Small Business Center or the programs offered through SBC, should contact Rice at 910-900-4025 or [email protected] Probe Thompson can be reached at [email protected]

By Dan Grubb

Sampson Community College