A drone survey or inspection can cost anything from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand.

Each flight is bespoke, dependent on a host of factors from objectives and length of flight to technicalities of the project, pre-planning and post-processing.

It is critical to ensure the operator has the equipment and specialist skills to deliver your project, and a given, of course, is that they have a PfCO and full insurance cover.

Costs can be affected by a number of factors:

Size of the site
It goes without saying that larger sites take longer to survey. That said, it’s still mostly faster and more cost effective than putting a ground-based surveyor on the site to do high-resolution surveying. The size of the site is less important if it can be surveyed from one take-off position

Airspace requirement
Different locations may have extra pre-flight costs associated with contacting air traffic control, especially when you’re working near airports or their airspace. It’s essential to have permission to take off from the owner, although it is not essential to have the permission of the owner of land you wish to fly over.

Specialist requirements
Many sites and flights will have specialist requirements which can impact on cost. For example, if you are inspecting a radio mast, the drone will need electrical shielding and redundancy in its GPS and compass components to ensure it doesn’t malfunction. It would also be beneficial to have a zoom camera as well as a high-res camera to allow close-up imaging without having to take a drone close to the structure. A high-resolution camera and high positional accuracy are important if you want the survey to be accurate to real-world positioning, not just relative to itself then you will need ground control points as well which are surveyed in using traditional methods to relate the survey to its real-world position.

Access control
It’s a CAA requirement for a drone operator to manage access to the area they intend to work in. In many cases within construction and engineering, this is already managed as part of the construction works.

Equipment costs
Depending on the equipment your contractor uses, this can vary massively. Commercially viable drones start at around £1500 and can range well into the hundreds of thousands. The results you can get largely rely upon the quality of equipment. Different drones may also require a separate payload operator.

  • Post-processing requirements
  • What formats do you require?
  • How much interpretation do you need?
  • What level of accuracy do you need?
  • How big is the job?

Whatever the requirements or demands of a project, we’re always happy to discuss it with you and provide an outline of costs at no obligation. We try to keep our pricing as simple as possible and to be as transparent as possible with our quotes.

To see our equipment, click here.

If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me harry@pathfinderdrone.co.uk or call 07429 515173