Paul Royle-Grimes officially got his business, Elevation Aerial Photography, off the ground in early 2017.
He was among the first people to get his commercial drone license in September 2016 then spent the next couple months setting up his business to launch the new year with the new company.
Royle-Grimes started his Greeley business as soon as he could, because “no way” it could have existed before that, he said.
“There was no technology that did this,” he said. “It couldn’t have even existed a month before I had my license. No commercial drone use was allowed.”
In 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration put into effect regulations for commercial use for drones restricting the weight of the devices and when and how high they can fly. Since then, Greeley residents and businesses have found a way to use the new technology to generate dollars.
Elevation Aerial Photography, located at 4324 W. 31st St. in Greeley, provides aerial imagery, mapping, and a bird’s-eye view of crops to monitor progress and issues.
“I think we’re just now seeing the tip of the iceberg as far as what we can do with the business landscape,” Royle-Grimes said. “The first year the technology was there but it took a while for businesses to actually see the allure as to what technology could do for them. We’re now entering the phase where commercial liability is starting to pick up.”
Mountain Harvest Media in Greeley, formerly Colorado Aerial Images, has used drones to capture construction reporting, document flood damage and more.
“It has helped us stay competitive in the market,” Mountain Harvest Media owner George Sickler said. “A lot of the companies who do what we do see the value in being able to capture those kind of images. That’s why we pursued it to begin with.”
Operating the camera was “second nature” to Sickler, he said, but flying the drone the camera was attached to was “more of a task.”
“Learning FAA rules was a bigger undertaking,” he said. “We were able to offer aerial services and it was a big upsale for everything we do.”
Marcos Fulling, known as @dogparkdude on Instagram, has used drones in photography. He also works for Wireless Specialist, LLC., and can use drones to inspect 500-foot towers and save him a trip up.
He’s noticed an uptick in drones locally.
“The thing about drones is, it’s made RC hobbies trendy,” Fulling said. “It brought a lot of new people to the remote-control hobby, which is good.”
However, drone newbies should exercise caution, Fulling advised.
“I see a lot of people buy a $3,000 drone, crash it and that’s it,” he said. “Some of the people may not be so experienced with these devices.
Article and images source: Greeley Tribune