How much does a drone inspection cost?

What does a Drone Inspection cost? Uncover the hidden cost factors of a professional drone operation and why it’s worth the investment
  • Acquisition costs: Drone and necessary equipment.
  • Training and certification: Required for commercial use.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Regular upkeep and potential fixes.
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How Much Does Drone Inspection Cost?

In this article, we aim to provide a general overview of the costs associated with remote inspection, focusing not only on aerial drones but also underwater drones. It’s important to note that this article does not specifically pertain to the services we offer. Instead, our intention is to offer readers a comprehensive insight into the topic of “Costs of Remote Inspection.” By exploring various aspects and factors, we aim to provide valuable information and a broader understanding of the financial considerations involved in remote inspection operations.

  • This article offers a general overview of remote inspection costs.
  • It encompasses both aerial drones and underwater drones.
  • The focus is on providing valuable insights into the topic of “Costs of Remote Inspection”, rather than promoting specific services.

Industrial Inspections and Aerial Photography: Understanding the Cost Difference

Industrial inspection and aerial imagery are two distinct applications of drones, each with unique requirements and cost structures. Industrial inspections using drones are often conducted in challenging or hazardous environments, such as inspecting wind turbines, power lines, or industrial facilities. These inspections require specialized equipment and sensors, like high-resolution cameras or thermal imaging sensors, and often require special certifications and training for the operators.

On the other hand, aerial imagery, while also requiring specialized equipment, focuses more on the quality of the visual output and can be used in a wide range of environments, from real estate photography to event documentation to landscape and environmental observations. The cost of aerial imagery can vary depending on the necessary equipment, desired image quality, and required expertise of the operator.

Understanding these differences is important in accurately assessing the costs and requirements of drone operations in various scenarios.

What are the costs of a drone company?

  • Drone Equipment: This includes the cost of the drone itself, and any additional equipment such as cameras, sensors, and thermal imaging devices.
  • Accessory Equipment: Includes items like additional batteries, propellers, carrying cases, and so on.
  • Maintenance and Repair: Regular upkeep and any necessary repairs to keep the drone in working condition.
  • Training and Certification: The cost of obtaining necessary pilot certifications and ongoing training for drone operators.
  • Insurance: Liability insurance coverage to protect against potential damage or harm caused during drone operations.
  • Licensing and Permits: Costs associated with obtaining necessary licenses or permits for operating drones in specific areas or for specific uses.
  • Software: Includes flight planning software, image processing software, or any other necessary programs.
  • Data Storage and Management: Costs associated with storing and managing the data collected by the drone.
  • Legal and Compliance: Expenses related to staying compliant with local, state, and federal drone laws and regulations.
  • Operational Costs: These are the everyday costs of running a business, such as salaries, rent, utilities, marketing, and so on.

The costs for DJI drones can be seen everywhere, but what does an industrial drone actually cost? Essentially, when you talk about industrial drones, you’re talking about the Flyability ELIOS drone, which is now in its third generation.

Roughly speaking – and depending on the equipment – you can assume that a Flyability ELIOS drone is priced somewhere in the region of 40,000 to 60,000 euros. There may also be leasing models or wholesale deals. We don’t know that for sure.

What about the cost of underwater drones? Underwater drones of the smallest class range in price from 3,000 to 15,000 euros. However, there are also much more expensive devices or even special sensors, such as sonar, which are really expensive.

What role does industry experience play in costs?

If you want to work as a drone company in the industry, the experience of the drone operators plays the decisive role. Would you let someone with no experience into your power plant?

There are many aspects to safety. On the one hand, the safety of the plant, the safety of your own and other people’s employees, but also the certainty that the contracted company has the necessary equipment and skills to perform the required job. Also the reputation plays a decisive role. Do you want to be the one who hired amateurs? Surely not.

All beginnings are difficult, but we now have more than half a decade of experience in the inspection of industrial plants. We have developed many procedures for the inspection of plant components ourselves. This has taken a lot of time and, of course, must be paid for.

Our work saves our customers a lot of money when it comes to doing without scaffolding, cranes and climbers. Speaking of cost savings. Did you know that a nuclear power plant has a turnover of 2 million euros per day?

Does that mean that aerial photography is much cheaper?

First and foremost, it should be noted that there are outstanding aerial photographers and videographers who are true artists in their field. They work for renowned brands, travel the world, and create impressive visuals for advertising and film productions.

However, the majority of aerial photography providers are not artists but rather private drone pilots looking to earn some extra money.

This is by no means a negative thing! There are many enthusiastic drone pilots who fly with passion and produce great photos and videos. The prices for such services generally range in the hundreds of euros and can sometimes be even more affordable.

However, it is important to recognize the differences when it comes to professional industrial inspections using drones. These inspections require specialized knowledge, experience, and a variety of factors that impact the costs. These may include:

  • Compliance with strict safety regulations and legal requirements, especially for industrial sites or construction areas.
  • The use of highly specialized drones and sensors that are optimized for specific inspection tasks.
  • The need for additional permits and insurances to cover potential risks and liability issues.
  • The requirement for trained professionals to conduct the inspections and analyze the captured data.

These factors make professional industrial inspections using drones more comprehensive and costly compared to traditional aerial photography. The prices vary depending on the scope of the project and specific client requirements.

Please note that the information provided here is meant as general guidelines, and actual costs may vary depending on the service provider and specific project conditions.

How much money should a employed drone pilot make?

The compensation of a drone pilot greatly depends on their training, experience, the specific requirements of their task, and the job market. Industrial drone pilots, especially those who work in challenging environments such as offshore operations, should be paid higher than a typical project leader in the industry due to the significant training requirements and high risk involved in their work. These pilots are not only responsible for the safe and efficient control of their drones, but they must also collect and analyze complex data, which requires a high level of expertise.

On the other hand, there are drone pilots who specialize in creating aerial images. Although this work is less dangerous than offshore operations, it still requires special skills and knowledge, particularly in regard to the creative and technical aspects of photography and video production. Given this, these employed drone pilots should receive compensation that, in line with their unique skills and knowledge, is comparable to the pay of experienced photographers.

  1. Level of training: The more specialized training a pilot has, the higher their potential pay.
  2. Experience: More experienced pilots are often able to command higher salaries.
  3. Specialization: Pilots with niche specializations, like offshore operations or high-quality aerial imaging, might earn more.
  4. Job risks: The riskier the job, the higher the potential pay.
  5. Job requirements: Tasks that require advanced skills, such as complex data collection and analysis, may offer higher pay.
  6. Industry: Different industries may have different pay scales for drone pilots.
  7. Geographic location: Pay can vary depending on the cost of living and market demand in different areas.
  8. Certification: Holding industry-recognized certifications can increase a drone pilot’s pay.
  9. Job Market: The demand and supply for drone pilots in the job market can greatly influence the salary.
  10. Company size and budget: Larger companies or those with higher budgets may be able to offer higher pay.

Now it's time to talk about money, how much is a industrial drone inspection?

This website caters to diverse target groups from various countries, which is why the information provided is always relative. The prices and working methods mentioned here specifically pertain to our location in Germany.

In Germany, the prices for industrial drone operations (based in Germany) per inspection (including the working day and preparation of the recordings) start at approximately 5,500 euros.

Additional travel costs may apply. Smaller jobs, where the customer only requires raw footage, may be more affordable, while complex projects can be relatively more expensive.

If tasks involve working at heights, there may be additional costs. Similarly, if specialized experts and surveyors with specific knowledge are required, additional charges may apply.

You can expect the following benefits:

  • The expertise of two highly experienced drone operators (and if necessary, even a third person)
  • Cutting-edge equipment with backup options
  • Convenient access to view the recordings at any time
  • Eliminates the need for scaffolding
  • Keeps employees away from hazardous areas
  • Provides optimal documentation.

That's a lot of money, isn't it?

First and foremost, it is important to clarify that we are specifically referring to industrial inspections, not aerial photography. As with any service, it is well-known that there are always cheaper competitors available, and as customers, we are aware that there are cheaper suppliers.

Regardless of whether you are a professional or private individual, as you gain experience over time, you will ultimately choose a provider that best suits your needs.

Running a successful inspection service entails various aspects, including establishing a corporation, maintaining company vehicles, securing insurance, acquiring equipment, employing personnel for equipment maintenance and testing, and having a dedicated team to process the data.

However, it’s important to differentiate this from someone who happens to capture a good shot using consumer-grade equipment in their spare time. Such an approach does not constitute a scalable business model.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of a typical drone inspection can vary depending on various factors such as the scope of the project, location, and specific requirements. However, prices generally start in the range of 5500 EUR a day.
What factors influence the pricing of a drone inspection? Several factors influence the pricing of a drone inspection, including the complexity of the project, the duration of the inspection, the type of equipment and sensors required, any additional services requested (such as data analysis or reporting), and the location of the inspection.
Yes, there may be additional expenses apart from the base inspection cost. These can include travel expenses if the inspection site is located far from the operator’s base, specialized equipment or sensors for specific inspection needs, and any additional analysis or reporting services requested.
Yes, drone inspection prices can vary based on the location and type of inspection. Factors such as local regulations, accessibility of the inspection site, and the complexity of the inspection task can influence the pricing. Inspections requiring specialized knowledge or equipment, such as inspections of tall structures or confined spaces, may also have different pricing considerations.
Yes, it is possible to get a cost estimate for a specific drone inspection project. To obtain an accurate cost estimate, it is recommended to provide detailed information about the project requirements, including the location, scope of inspection, desired deliverables, and any specific challenges or considerations. This will help the drone service provider assess the project and provide a tailored cost estimate based on your specific needs.
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Our Drone Inspection Experts

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CEO & Founder

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CFO & co-owner

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