Environmental Science Associates (ESA), a leading environmental consulting firm, is pleased to announce that the firm has five pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly drones. The pilots—Russ Burdge, Jonathan Kemp, Julie McNamara, Brian Pittman, and Brendon Quinton—are being dispatched to project sites to conduct real-time site monitoring and reconnaissance, and to collect orthomosaic imagery and high-definition video for clients in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, and Southeast regions.

Certification includes passing the FAA aeronautical knowledge test and a Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) screening for security purposes. Once certified, ESA’s drone operators fly under the FAA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule (Part 107 of the Code of Federal Regulations) and are able to survey project sites for biological, hydrologic, and vegetation monitoring; habitat restoration; and other investigative purposes. As the service line for unmanned aerial vehicles grows across the country, ESA has four additional pilots who are preparing for their FAA exam in the coming months.

“With a team of licensed drone pilots in partnership with our in-house geospatial services team, we can quickly capture high-resolution aerial imagery and 4k HD video, enhancing our monitoring and analysis capabilities across all of our disciplines,” explains Mike Leech, ESA’s Director of Geospatial Services. “We expect to have a team of more than a dozen certified pilots by the end of the year to better serve our clients and the growing demand for drone services.”

To learn more, visit the Geospatial Services page.

News Release: ESA Builds Team of FAA-Certified Drone Operators