Drone inspections and DEFI inspections have become very popular in recent years. From measurements and photos to surveillance for government institutions and private companies – the applications of drones seem endless. However, there may be certain problems with DEFI inspections that need to be taken into account. Issues such as limited airspace, privacy concerns, and maintenance costs can potentially cause huge delays or even halt projects if not adequately resolved in advance. And these are just the beginning of difficulties, as we identify bigger problems. With proper understanding and planning, many of these obstacles can be easily overcome.
1. Weather conditions – how to conduct drone inspection in difficult conditions?
Weather conditions are the most important factor influencing the decision to start airfield light inspections. Heavy rain with strong gusts of wind or freezing drizzle causing rime often disqualify inspections from the air. Therefore, an important stage in planning inspections is predicting the weather conditions at the airport. The use of drones is becoming increasingly popular and is used for tasks such as aerial surveys, precise bird’s-eye view photos, photography, AWOS, 3D models, and many others.
When planning work at the airport, Airotec DEFI controllers rely on 3-day weather forecasts, which are 80% accurate. Therefore, there is always a moderate risk that could block the start of work. In the event of a negative scenario, another convenient date should be agreed upon.
2. Equipment failures – how to deal with drone hardware issues?
Equipment failures are another problem that controllers using the Airotec DEFI system face during inspections. Managing this risk according to the implemented AIRTOEC procedures is crucial for ensuring work continuity. The most common problems are battery failures or mechanical damage to propellers, so this risk should be minimized by securing inspections with additional backups.
The key element in the comprehensive Airotec DEFI procedure is the technical briefing one day before the inspection. During this time, all system elements are checked, starting from hardware and ending with software updates.
3. Operational limitations at the airport – how to overcome them?
When planning an Airotec DEFI drone inspection, all operational limitations at the airport must be taken into account. Each inspection mission is reported to the BSP flight coordinators in the PANSA UTM system, and work can only begin with mission approval.
In addition, Airotec DEFI controllers pay particular attention to NOTAM (NOtice To AirMen) messages published by the airport. NOTAM is a short text message containing information of significant operational importance, addressed to personnel involved in aviation operations and air traffic services responsible for providing air information services and preparing, and providing information before the flight.
4. Lack of qualified drone operators – how to ensure professional drone service?
The Airotec DEFI system can only be operated by teams of operators and inspectors who have successfully completed a training cycle. Airotec training is related to the operational use of the system as well as the application and supervision of safety procedures. Therefore, basic knowledge of executing drone missions is insufficient for using the Airotec DEFI system. This can increase efficiency and achieve better results.
written by Jakub Świętosławski (owner Airotec)