Developing a New Program for Drone Operations

Overcoming Hurdles Through Planning 

After developing new small UAS programs for nearly 7 years in a variety of capacities, you begin to see many of the same problems facing new programs. Whether leveraging the resources and support of the University of Southern California to create curriculum for search and rescue, SMS, and program management, or developing Flight Operations, SMS, Training, and Accident Incident Response Plan Manuals to energy, oil and gas, staffing, or resource management companies; Wolf UAS has grown alongside the industry and seen firsthand the common pitfalls and challenges facing new operations entering the marketplace. These aren’t theoretical problems, or technological shortcomings, but programmatic failures that set back a development cycle for months. You can easily avoid many of these issues by implementing a formulaic and well-developed methodology for thinking through issues before they arise.

Launching today, as part of a campaign to grow Wolf UAS’s outreach efforts and to promote drone safety throughout the industry, we’re providing a free 14-page safety e-book to anyone who signs-ups for our newsletter at Wolf UAS. We’ve been encouraged in the past to provide on-going, unbiased, safety focused program development materials, news, and information and have finally found a mechanism to do that for our followers and colleagues.

The Safety e-book covers topics that we’ve discussed a bit in past including Crew Resource Management (CRM) for drone operations, Safety Management Systems (SMS) development, and the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) approach to flight operations, with a quick and dirty synopsis of where the industry is going today. We believe this e-book will be helpful to anyone who is beginning down the path of program development for UAS. Likewise, it begins a conversation internally on how to approach the next phase of a young drone program, so even if you have already begun the process of implanting UAS flights at home, you can pick up trends and tips that are helpful.



There’s been a lot of exciting presentations, events, and announcements this past year in the drone industry and from our growing company, Wolf UAS. Harrison Wolf published the first safety focused text book entitled Drones: Safety Risk Management for the Next Evolution of Flight that has gotten great reviews as a foundational book forunderstanding the industry, developing a wide base of knowledge for developing a program, and specific information on Safety Management for UAS Operations. However, not all people are quite ready to take that leap in buying a book, or simply put, they just don’t have the time or energy for a textbook.

If you’re looking for more information on drone program development, attend Harrison Wolf’s next workshop presentation the Drone Energy Coalition later this month in Houston on Starting a New Program. We’ll discuss in depth the challenges facing new programs in the energy industry, and how others have, and you can, overcome  these hurdles.

Harrison Wolf is a UAS Safety & Security expert with focuses in regulations, standards, technology policy, and program development. He created and teaches the Safety Management Systems (SMS) for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Course at the USC Aviation Safety & Security Program. Harrison is the President of Wolf UAS LLC, an UAS Safety, Management, and Policy Consulting Firm specializing in developing UAS programs for all sizes of commercial and public organizations. His recent specialty is in developing sUAS program for the energy industry (power generation and distribution, oil and gas, and water treatment). Check out his latest book entitled Drones: Safety Risk Management for the Next Evolution of Flight.

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