Drones are increasingly used widely in different industries in Malaysia, yet many people and organisations make costly mistakes while adopting drone technology.
We’ve put together three common mistakes in drone integration we see in Malaysia so you can avoid them.
1. Rushing Due to Excitement
In the past years, we have seen many examples in Malaysia where people rushed to buy the latest drone hardware and software without planning for how they would integrate into business-as-usual operations and processes.
Another issue is that when a drone programme fails due to a lack of planning, the entire idea of deploying drones can be tainted by a previous bad experience.
Like any other new technology, you need to understand why you are doing so first and then go to the market to find the solution that fits your needs. As a responsible organisation and remote pilot, you also need to make sure you have the training and operational procedure in place to have a sustainable drone program and use the drones as intended.
Although it is difficult to measure the exact ROI for every single drone application, the ROI, savings or benefits from typical applications can be calculated.
For the less common UAS application, you would require more effort in gathering information about the personnel, hardware, software, total operation time and risks involved. However, even if it is difficult, you still have to think about the benefits the specific drone technology you are acquiring can produce. Don’t jump into the drone bandwagon just because the technology is exciting! Always remember that technology is here to help you solve a problem.
For less common UAS applications, we suggest starting small. Propose a pilot program of the simplest, low-risk use case and lead with the value you expect to achieve - saving money, time and acquiring valuable data. Track your success metrics frequently to keep your drone program top-of-mind. You can then decide if you should be investing more in drone technology.
2. Unstructured Usage of Drones in Silo
Many of our clients come to us after discovering that someone within their organisation is utilising drones without permission. The advantage of drones is so attractive that many employees bring their own drones to work and use them regularly.
Since drone technology is new, many organisations still lack a drone policy or operating procedures. Due to the lack of procedures, these employees would assume that it’s alright to use drones for work as they want to achieve efficiency at work.
However, this presents a significant risk to organisations, including regulatory, safety and reputational risks. It is vital that a solid framework of policy and procedures that is compliant with the current Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) is developed. The last thing you want happening is the increased risks at work.
3. Under-investment in Risk Management and Comprehensive Training
While basic training to use drones is commonplace, application-based training or customised training derived from assessing an organisation’s technology needs is not always available.
As a new field, training in drones is not only about operating the equipment. Training is also about sharing information, knowledge and skills to scale the capabilities of an entire organisation.
Furthermore, to reap the full benefits of drones and protect your investment, it’s critical to understand the risks associated with commercial drone operations.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has primary jurisdiction over the commercial use of drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Malaysia. Under most circumstances, CAAM requires drone operators to obtain an Authorisation to Fly (ATF) before operating a drone. Since 2021, CAAM has also published two Civil Aviation Directives (CAD) – one for an Aerial Work Certificate for Agricultural Operations and the other for Special UAS Projects for higher risks operations such as BVLOS.
Nascent technology always comes with new risks. Protecting your organisation means understanding the applicable risks to minimise your liabilities.
Comprehensive training can help your employees understand the risks involved in operating a drone. It can also help your employees develop and practise standard operating procedures that fit into your current processes.