Los Angeles-based DroneBase is the largest provider of commercial drone services in the world. In March, business at the company grew 30% over the month prior as a result of the pandemic. The startup is helping with mission critical inspections of critical infrastructure while workforces are locked down. It also provides footage for news media like The Associated Press and Reuters. Founder Dan Burton says DroneBase gets the first call when outlets need shots from the air.
DroneBase is just one of a handful of drone-related companies ushering in a second aviation revolution in Southern California. Santa Monica-based software company AirMap has built digital infrastructure to provide air traffic control for unmanned aircrafts. FLIR Systems Inc. in Santa Barbara develops, manufactures and sells thermal imaging. Meanwhile, Auterion Government Solutions out in Moorpark is creating software capabilities for the U.S. Defense Department drones.
Burton says “drone tech was born here and built here by the military” and now has evolved into a full-fledged commercial industry.