What Is a Commercial Drone?

While previously, a commercial drone often only differed from a recreational drone in terms of the purpose it was being used for. Specific commercial drones have come available in the market over the last few years. Many superior drones on the market can be and are used for both commercial and recreational purposes. 

However, there are drones more specific and better fit for commercial use versus recreational use. Ensure you have the best commercial drone for your needs, read on to learn more about the different industries that can benefit from the use of commercial drones. 


How Do Commercial Drones Work?

Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), can be used for many business purposes, and this has made the need for commercial drones far more. While commercial drone uses may vary greatly, they all function similarly. Flight and navigation are the two main functions of any drone. 

Whether you need an aerial view of a home you’re selling, or if you’re monitoring your farm’s crops, a commercial drone may be the time saving solution you’ve been looking for. We’re here to inform you more about commercial drones and the many purposes they continue to have around the world. 

What Does the FAA Consider a Drone?

The FAA considers a drone an aircraft. Aircraft is then defined as a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air”.

Is Commercial Drone Use Legal?

As of April 2021, the use of commercial drones has become more legal with further rulings being passed. Drone pilots that adhere to the Part 107 guidelines are legally allowed to fly their drones at night, over people, vehicles, and more without a waiver is necessary. 

No matter the use or time, it is crucial to ensure airspace authorizations are always being followed. 

What Are the Regulations for Commercial Drone Use?

Per the FAA, there are three steps to properly fly under the Part 107 rules. 

These are: 

To legally fly a drone, you must be an FAA-certified drone pilot which means you’ve passed the test to receive your Remote Pilot Certificate. Eligibility requirements for this certificate include: 

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Able to take tests in English
  • Be in both physical and mental shape to safely pilot a drone

How Much Does a Commercial Drone Cost?

Commercial drones are typically more expensive than recreational drones and for good reason, the features they provide are far greater. There is an excellent list of high quality commercial drones ranging from $2,000 to $6,500, but there are also commercial drone options in the five digits as well. 

Truly figuring out what your drone requirements are is going to make finding the best commercial drone for you a lot easier. 

What Are the Rules for Commercial Drone Usage?

With the commercial use of drones comes a set of rules to ensure others’ privacy is never in question. A few rules the FAA has in place are: 

  • Commercial drones must weigh less than 55 pounds
  • Drones may fly no more than 400 feet above the ground
  • Never fly drone over 100 miles per hour
  • Manned aircraft always has right of way
  • Never violate the privacy of others

The FAA’s Part 107 rules and other drone guidelines can be viewed in full here

What Size Drone Requires a License?

Currently, those operating a drone for commercial use are required to earn a Remote Pilot Certificate. The FAA passed Part 107 and it went into effect in April of 2021 which allows those flying drones for recreational use to simply abide by the drone and airspace guidelines. 

Commercial Drone Uses

Every year seems to bring a new use for commercial drones, take advantage and let a commercial drone benefit your business today! 


Surveillance use of commercial drones continues to grow and for good reason. With the ability to take pictures, videos, collect data, and more, a commercial drone can safely survey any location. 

No matter what or where you’re looking to survey, the right commercial drone can get the job done quickly and safely. Drones with infrared cameras make night and other surveillance a cinch. 


Commercial drones can take the place of people in many situations. With several different types of data collection available, it’s easy to see why certain operations are turning towards the use of commercial drones more and more. 

From inspections to surveying, there’s a commercial drone out there for the job. 


Photography and videography continue to be two main forms of entertainment that keep the use of commercial drones thriving. 

Whether filming a wedding or for a movie, the best commercial drones can help you get the perfect shot. 

Signal Emission

Certain commercial drones can be equipped to emit signals as well as video and sound which helps to deliver multimedia bandwidth.  

Transportation & Delivery

Several companies are already using commercial drones for small delivery and transportation needs. Commercial drones can be used to deliver small packages and other items. 

Industries That Use Commercial Drones

Commercial drone uses continue to arise in all kinds of industries, from realty to agriculture to entertainment, there’s a demand for commercial drones everywhere. 


Commercial drones have delivered a major advantage to all types of farmers. There are agricultural-specific drones that allow farmers to keep a watchful eye on all their crops as well as remotely spray pesticides. 

Remote crop care has never been easier than with the best commercial drone. 


Chemical process industries, or CPI, heavily utilize commercial drone use to ensure their equipment and buildings are properly safeguarded and functioning. 

Chemical and other leaks can be detrimental and it’s hard for the human eye to detect things in such confined and limited areas. Thorough equipment inspection is a simple task when you’re piloting the right commercial drone. 


Drones have only touched a small part of how they can benefit the world in many ways with conservation. 

Whether using a drone to track endangered animals without disturbing them or their habitat, taking before and after images of prescribed burns, gathering data in hard to reach places, or any number of other uses, commercial drones will only continue to help conserve and protect Mother Nature in many ways. 


All areas of the construction industry have seen major benefits from the use of commercial drones. 

From being able to complete roof inspections without putting safety in question to being able to take measurements where you may not be able to get to quite yet, drones are a huge advantage for all types of contractors and inspectors in the construction fields. 


The use of commercial drones for delivery has not evolved to its full potential yet, but the time is coming when drones may be able to deliver to nearly any location. 

Drones make it possible for quick delivery while also using less gas or energy than many other traditional delivery options. Efficient delivery with commercial drones isn’t far off, but the cost of the best commercial drone makes the cost benefit come into question. 


The use of drones for filmmaking is nothing new, drones have been simplifying and expanding the possibilities for filmmakers and videographers for years. The features of the best commercial drones that filmmakers use only advance each year. 

While many drones may be able to produce decent videos, ensuring you have one that will deliver high quality video that supports the necessary edits is essential to producing a film of superior quality. 


All types of insurance industries have been proving the benefits of commercial drones for years. The ability to safely inspect any necessary property or area has never been easier. 

From storm and fire damage assessments to completing aerial inspections for property values and more, the use of commercial drones in the insurance industry is still only in the early years. 


Commercial drones have many different uses in the mining industry. From surveying and gathering data to creating maps and planning out sites to ensuring properties remain secure, drones are highly beneficial for all types of mining.  

Oil and Gas

Similar to chemical process industries, oil and gas industries also utilize commercial drones use to deliver thorough inspections of equipment. 

Keeping equipment and buildings safe from any oil and gas leaks is crucial and drones help keep this possible without putting a human’s safety into question. 

Power Generation

Commercial drones and power generation continue to be tested but think of drones as being their own small wind turbine. 

When a drone is attached to the ground and equipped properly, it can have access to heavier winds which can help to produce energy. 

Public Safety

Search and rescue is the main area that has benefited from the use of commercial drones. Drones are capable of covering much more ground than the human foot and when looking for a missing or injured person, a drone is a great place to turn. 

Drones are a tool that law enforcement and many agencies can use to help protect people and areas. 

Sewer Maintenance

Keeping sewers free of debris and in good maintenance has long been a difficult task, but commercial drones are only making it easier. 

There are cities and areas where there just isn’t accessible for equipment or humans, but drones are made to fit and can be equipped as needed to get the job completed. 

Commercial Drone Vs. Recreational Drone

When drones first hit the market, there wasn’t a major difference in the ones available. As the need for drones has grown, manufacturers have realized industries vary and the demand for more advanced drones was here. 

There are now many different types of commercial drones to ensure every industry can invest in a drone that will benefit them for years to come.  From data collection to spray applications, commercial drone use is vast and growing by the day! 

Could Your Business Profit From a Commercial Drone? 

The use of commercial drones has just touched the surface. Over the next few years, commercial drone jobs are only going to continue to rise as industries of all kinds realize the cost effective advantages they provide. From improving safety to delivering more thorough inspections, drones continue to impress in what they can do in all fields. With ever improving cameras to features you’d never imagine, commercial drones are benefitting industries across the world. 

Now’s the time to learn more about what a commercial drone can do for you and your business, FLYING Magazine is your information guru for all your commercial drone usage questions. 


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