Drone Service Provider, Get In Here!

Hello! I am a DSP from Singapore.

Would like to look for other DSPs from other regions to create a community for discussion and brainstorming together!

Please join the discussion if you are interested to participate.


DSP from Texas here! I think you’ll find that the majority of the people on this forum already are or are aspiring to be service providers.

Hey MichaelL!

I just wasn’t too sure if most companies make their own drone program or if they mostly hire DSPs like us, haha.

I am looking to make a more tightly-knitted community that does not operate in one another’s region. Something like a chapter of sort.

How long have you been in this business if I may ask! And if you would like to connect via LinkedIn or WhatsApp.

I’ve been in Surveying and Construction for 20+ years and flying drones for almost 8 years. I think it’s a good mix of both inhouse and outsourcing to DSP’s. The spectrum seems to be the majority of inhouse pilots in the mid-sized to large companies in Construction, Engineering and Surveying. Large firms that project manage for Municipalities and/or Developers tend to outsource more but are also starting to get their own Marketing teams involved while leaving the model and mapping to the DSP professionals.

I work full time for a large construction company that has 60+ inhouse Part 107 pilots across the nation. Most of us are VDC professionals full time so we only get to fly 3-4 times a month while my personal business supports smaller construction companies, Land Surveyors and a few nonprofit organizations like our local animal shelter so I keep my flight hours running with that.

We have a Meetup group but it has grown too much and started to have problems with too many pilots trying to come out to fly so they are splitting it into more specific categories like keeping the FPV pilots to themselves and having a more established Part 107 commercial group. Problem there is that we are all so busy that we have a hard time maintaining a consistent meetup.

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Thank you so much for the detailed answer to my question!
I guess I am also sort of looking for a mentor for this as I am coming from an absolutely unrelated industry… I am originally a Business Dev from a Tech company!

I am actually quite unsure of the market demand of drone services in Singapore but see it as potentially growing as our Government has recently mandated that all buildings over the age of 20 year old has to be inspected at least once every 7 years! We have a lot of buildings here as a city-state.

I am looking forward to learning from you and others in this forum community.

Find your peers in the region quick! This could be a huge contract if you can get a proof of concept and solid business plan in place. Maybe think about a nonprofit to serve the data and the Pilot network as the force behind it can be contracted like we have here in the States. Grants/Bonds from the State pay for the Pilot network operations. Exposing them to the huge benefits of drone inspections rather than sending out hundreds of inspectors should be a pretty easy sell if done properly. I’m no expert in setting up those organizations and I am sure it is different over there but surely you have resources that would be happy to look at a venture such as this.

Good afternoon.

DSP here from southeastern USA. Been flying UAS (we called them R/C aircraft for a long time) since 1974 and flying MultiRotors since 2011. We started putting cameras on our airplanes and helicopters in 2005 (horrible quality by today’s standards) and just never stopped as the technology has grown.

I have a long history in the Construction Industry (I worked engineered blueprints etc) with a few decades of Boots On the ground experience in residential and commercial constructions. I now work Full Time as a DSP serving those same industries across our region.

Any questions feel free to ask :slight_smile:



Hey Al, good to see you. How’s Commercial Pilots running? Haven’t chimed in over there in a while…

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Hiya Michael. It’s running OK albeit kinda slow. I spend most of my “forum” time Admin over on the Mavic Pilots site. CP runs smoothly with a LOT less drama than MP does LOL.

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Hi BigAl07!

Thanks for popping in…

Would you say that having prior experience in construction/surveying/engineering is essential for me to be a drone service provider? I am right now having anxiety that me having no background will affect how the potential client may perceive me.

Doesn’t really help that I have currently 0 projects to my portfolio! Trying to start doing cold e-mailing to facade inspectors for partnerships right now.

Good morning AasonAeroInspect

I absolutely think my experience helps. It allows me to “talk the talk” and makes it much easier to go over the blueprint and be able to “see” the project from a deeper perspective.

Is it essential? Absolutely not because with each job you get you’ll learn bits & pieces but having Blueprint and Job Site experience makes it a whole lot easier.

Good luck. It’s not an easy gig but if you get in with a few clients it can be very lucrative if you can deliver products they need and can utilize to help them save Time & Money.


I agree with Al. While it helps you are not building a program internal of the company, you are providing services to the company for very specific tasks. What will help you most is to just have an understanding of the construction schedule and when to anticipate those tasks. Mapping for a Surveyor and mapping for a Contractor are vastly different. With a Land Surveyor your stuff has to be right the first time and planning for all contingencies on the field is a must. There is no going back or you are blowing your budget. With construction sure the first topo has to be tight but there is room for wiggle. It does need to be tighter when the site is stripped and stockpiles are forming but you always have a chance to get acclimated before things get critical. The rest is just about being as consistent as possible and being on call in anticipation of upcoming events. Remember you don’t have to know exactly how to build just when they will and why your data is important to them.

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Thank you @BigAl07 and @MichaelL so much for the advice and sharing with me your experience. I am really new to drone service and most certainly much less experienced in both life and work.

Even how much to charge clients!.. I have so much to learn. But right now I just want to focus on being able to give quality deliverables accurately!

I will start participating in industry events and networking. Do you have any advice on how to reach out to companies?

I’ve found that making the initial connection is the most challenging aspect of this industry. The project managers etc get bombarded with requests etc that it’s probably not the best resource for you.

If you can get in front of “Principles” of the company and show them the value/savings you can deliver that goes a long way. I rely on the contacts I’ve made over the years to get me “in the door” and my strongest connection is a Co-Owner to the Development company and they “Require” our services on ever project they do now.

It’s a matter of Who You Know . . .



This is where getting in some practice and even providing a complimentary flight and asking for an opportunity to go over the results can be a useful marketing tool. I have gotten many contracts by delivering a portion of the deliverables at a lower resolution, walking them through the data and then explaining to them that what I am presenting (4in/px) is 25% of the resolution that we typically deliver. Some then want to purchase the full resolution right there and some want to sign up for regular flights. Just like any business (especially on the edge of tech) there is a lot of marketing and cold-calling involved. Be prepared to get turned down and ghosted many times but have a thick skin going in.

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I see! I better get going ahead with my Cold Calling and also my business networking… Right now I am joining a Business Network (paid) and also to go hop into events to speak with people…

Hopefully things get easier after the ball starts rolling!

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I would like to provide complimentary flight but Singapore has to pay $90 permit for any commercial activity. I guess $100 nominal charge to my customer to do a proof-of-concept could work!

Regarding cold-calling… are you literally grabbing phone numbers from online or via LinkedIn. Any strategies you followed that worked for you?

That’s a good start. In the US we have an AEC association for Architects, Engineers and Contractors (pretty much anyone attached to construction). Those kinds of groups and events are good to follow.

$90/day? Or per location? Hit an area with a couple of sites/structures and examples of different kinds of drone use. How do you write-off business expenses?

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Per location and we can choose to set how frequently we will be flying within a certain period I think.
That’s to my knowledge!

So it makes more sense to just choose a stretch of dates rather than just one day.