Commercial Drones: 23 Experts to Follow for News and Insights

May 9, 2017by Firmatek
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Between the constant exploration of regulatory boundaries and the near-constant introduction of innovative technologies, the world of commercial drones features a landscape that evolves quickly.

That means anyone who is currently using a drone to do business — or anyone thinking of doing so — faces some enormous informational hurdles. How do you keep track of evolving legislation and new technology?

By following the right industry insiders.

These are the 23 people and publications you will want to follow on Twitter to get up to speed quickly.

 

Sally French, @TheDroneGirl

Sally French has a blog, The Drone Girl, that serves as an excellent starting point for both hobbyists and commercial UAV pilots. She knows the drone industry very well, and her Twitter feed is a reliable source for news and industry trends.

 

Diana Marina Cooper, @Diana_M_Cooper

Diana Marina Cooper is PrecisionHawk’s senior vice president of policy and strategy, so she is on the ground every day in Washington working to communicate and influence industry regulations. Follow her for up-to-date news from the FAA plus intel on heavy-industry drone applications.

 

Gary Mortimer, @sUASnews

Gary Mortimer is the founder and editor at sUAS News, a site that has been reporting on small, unmanned aerial systems since 2008. Mortimer and the team’s other writers are all pilots and industry professionals, and the site’s Twitter feed is among the best information resources you will find in the commercial drone space.

 

Romeo Durscher, @romeoch

Romeo Durscher is the director of education at DJI, which means his job involves teach organizations and industries the best ways to apply drone technologies effectively and safely. Follow him for news, industry insights and a big-picture perspective on commercial UAVs.

 

Colin Snow, @droneanalyst

Colin Snow is the founder and CEO of Skylogic Research, which helps startups understand industry trends and the regulatory environment surrounding the use of drones. Follow him for some of the most thoughtful analyses of the commercial drone markets.

 

Droneblog, @droneblog

Droneblog is an excellent news source for both commercial and hobbyist pilots. Its Twitter feed is good about quickly posting any new articles the site publishes, plus relevant news stories from across the web.

 

Randy Goers, @DroneRadioShow

Randy Goers hosts the weekly Drone Radio Show podcast, which seeks to showcase the various opportunities UAVs present to a variety of industries. Goers is a city planner and strategist. Follow for podcast updates and industry news.

 

DroneLife, @Drone_Life

DroneLife is a blog that covers commercial and consumer news, but it has a special focus on construction and agricultural applications. Follow for the blog’s unique coverage of those particular sectors.

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UAS Law Blog, @UAS_Law

The team at law office Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman have created a blog specifically for drone regulations where they can share news and their own insights. Follow UAS Law Blog on Twitter to keep up with their posts plus the additional research they share.

 

Brendan Schulman, @dronelaws

Another excellent legal source is Brendan Schulman, the vice president of policy and legal affairs at DJI. Follow him for the latest guidance and news out of Washington, plus relevant industry news he finds elsewhere.

 

Jonathan Rupprecht, @jonathanruppre

Jonathan Rupprecht is one of the top private-practice attorneys in the country to specialize in the rules and regulations that pertain to drones. Follow him for legal news plus tips on to get any certification you or your team might require.

 

Peter Sachs, @TheDroneGuy

Peter Sachs is the author of the Drone Law Journal and is an important advocate for industry drone operators because of his work in pushing back against many FAA regulations that he feels are overreaching in their scope. Follow for legal news and a healthy dose of mainstream media fact-checking.

 

Drone360, @Drone360mag

Drone360 is a magazine for both hobbyist and commercial operators that does a nice job of covering everything from regulations to news to everyday tips (e.g. how to travel with a drone). Follow for a regular feed of the magazine’s own pieces, plus occasional news from elsewhere on the web.

 

Helen Greiner, @helengreiner

Helen Greiner is a serial entrepreneur — her companies include iRobot and CyPhyWorks — who has spent her career working with robotics. Follow her to get a glimpse of a future powered by robotics, from drones to self-driving vehicles to automated delivery services.

 

Jonathan Evans, @jwce21

Jonathan Evans is the co-president at drone operations management software company Skyward and the president of Global UTM, a Swiss nonprofit that works to integrate UAVs into national airspaces. Follow him for glimpses into the future of unmanned aerial flying.

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Greg McNeal, @GregoryMcNeal

Greg McNeal is a professor of law and public policy at Pepperdine University and co-founder of AirMap, a provider of UTM technology that allows for air traffic management of low-altitude drones. Follow him for thoughtful insights into where cutting-edge technology intersects with regulations and security best practices.

 

Gretchen West, @gawherry

Gretchen West is a senior advisor at the Hogan Lovells law firm in Silicon Valley, and she is the co-executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance. Follow her for insights into the entire spectrum of robotic vehicles, and their commercial applications.

 

Iain Butler, @theUAVguy

Iain Butler, Ph.D., is an EVP at hearing aid manufacturer Eargo, and he has been involved in the multirotor UAV community for years. He also has a company, Kextrel LLC, that provides aerial measurement and photography services, plus custom drone builds. Follow him for trends and industry news.

 

Unmanned Experts, @UnmannedExpert1

Unmanned Experts provide railroad and transport infrastructure inspections via drone, and the team also consults and trains other organizations on how to deploy drones. Follow them for unique insights into the transport sector.

 

Ian Smith, @SkyCapture

Ian Smith hosts the Commercial Drones FM podcast and works for UAV operations software provider DroneDeploy. Smith also hosts a commercial drone operators Slack group. Follow him for podcast updates plus thoughtful industry insights.

 

Drone Center, @DroneCenter

Drone Center tweets on behalf of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in New York, where students and researchers conduct in-depth studies into the challenges and opportunities of applying UAV technology in the public and private spheres. Follow for updates on the thoughtful, original research the center is doing.

 

Paige Mitts, @DroneOnUASUAV

Paige Mitts is an aerial photographer who specializes in bigger properties (e.g. hotels and hospitals). She also stays up to date on commercial UAV news, and she passes along important news and insights via Twitter.

 

Women and Drones, @WomenandDrones

Women and Drones is a blog that spotlights great work by women in UAV industries, as well as STEAM programs that work to get more women involved in scientific careers. Follow them for news as well as frequent shoutouts to the women who are doing important work in the field.

images by: Kevin Chow, Alex Bagirov, 贝莉儿 NG

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