Commercial Drone vs Consumer Drone : What are the differences? [Infographic]


When most people hear the word “drone” they think of one of two things: missile-dropping unmanned aircraft sent by the government to bomb remote villages across the world or privacy-invading mini quadcopters flying too close to planes.

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Well, Buy the Best Drone, a website dedicated to helping the public understand current policy about drones (foreign and domestic), hopes to help change the perception of how drones are used and viewed.

Most hobbyists don’t actually even call them drones. Drones are automated, and are not piloted. What most people refer to as a “drone” is actually known as a small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS), well at least according the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Even though sUAS don’t carry and drop bombs, they still come with a lot of controversy. Is it fair for businesses to use these aircraft? Who can fly one? Where can I even fly? These are all questions people are asking when searching for information.

Unfortunately for most businesses, commercial use of sUAS is still banned in the United States. The FAA has the power to grant exemptions for any business that applies, but the process can take months. If you want to use a drone for your business, you need to be aware of the wrath of the FAA. There are still plenty of businesses breaking the law, but not without consequences. Many companies have faced heavy fines and even received cease and desist letters from the FAA.
If you’re a hobbyist, it’s a lot less confusing. Make sure you follow the guidelines the FAA has graciously prepared for consumers and you won’t have any issues. That is, unless you start selling the amazing footage you worked so hard to capture. Once you do that, you’re commercializing and can get in trouble for it.

If you have more questions check out the infographic below which compares commercial and consumer drones. Also, read Buy the Best Drone’s full guide here.

Consumer vs Commercial Use Drone Infographic

Steve Yu is a technology blogger with ten years blogging experience under his belt. He is the founder of or just MTQ.