Starting a drone aerial work business in Canada in 2020

by bmisljen. Posted on Sep 12, 2020    6    6

I'm based in southern Ontario, Canada and was recently laid off from my commercial pilot job. I am seriously considering starting a drone aerial work business (photo, video, survey, thermography, inspections, etc..). Does anyone have experience with doing this? Is it oversaturated? Any profitable niches like thermography/multispectral survey to look into?



Bluediggies 1

I'm not experienced in your market but what you can do is go to these search engines and see if there are people asking about or looking for anything related to thermography:

Answer the Public

mmmfritz 2

I develop cheap custom camera drones that can fly crop sensor or full frame cameras. If that is an interest it's a good area to get into.

Most people run DJI stuff, while good you aren't going to get the clarity of a Canon 5D ect.

Helpful for TV and production level stuff.

It's pretty technical and time consuming. To break even it may take a while.

You can go out and buy a Magic 2 and give it a whirl. But it may not be great.

snowcatjp 2

I think you're going to have a tough time breaking into the market, plus you're going to have a steep learning curve with the photography bits - there is a lot of specialized knowledge needed to create a niche that you won't have when you start the businesses.

I would recommend getting into flight instructing to hold you over while you are furloughed - if you have actually been laid off, do instruction til you find something better.

Why the need for a career change? Flying has always been flaky from a job security standpoint, but there has never been a better time to be a pilot looking for work - COVID excepted - but non airline jobs are still all over the place. Look at cargo ops, medical flights, private turboprop and jet gigs (mining, logging camps etc - BC / Alberta / North)

  bmisljen 1

Thanks. From what I have seen there are currently no flying jobs in Canada willing to hire furloughed airline pilots. That was the main motivation to start the drone business. I considered instructing but it would pay less than I'm currently getting on unemployment so I don't see a point as I don't need to build up my flight hours for jobs.

GoodLifeLLC 2


I am a video producer myself and I think even if it seems the market is oversaturated, this type of content is always on demand to provide aerial footage for different applications. As long as you find channels to offer your videos, I think you have multiple niches/industries you can tap on, and specialized on those you think are more profitable. For instance, thermography may be trending, but possibly very specialized, but real estate aero footage could be more profitable. I suggest you build a catalog and test these assets in different marketplaces. I came across a new platform called TheKnowery, you can upload digital products and get paid every time people download it. But there are other places. But I feel is still a great opportunity to continue your passion and skills. I wish you the best!

  bmisljen 1

Real estate and home inspectors were the field I would be initially targeting as I have some connections. I guess I will have to try and call around a bit and see how much demand there is in my area.