How Much Do Commercial Drones Cost?
Once you have defined the type of service(s) that your drone pilot business is going to undertake, then you will need to consider which commercial drone is right your you.
There are numerous Commercial drone options with varying price points and it are these price points that may initially steer you down a certain service offering to start your drone business until you are confident that you will generate enough income to warrant the purchase of a more expensive drone.
After all, if you are a start-up and you are yet to gain any income from your drone venture then looking at drones that cost 10,000.00 GBP or $15000 USD/AUD/EUR/CAD + may not be the ideal cost point to start from, (unless of course you have money to burn).
Drone Pilots need to establish what the drone will be used for before deciding which drone to purchase.
DJI Enterprise Drones / Commercial Drones
DJI Enterprise Drones are DJI’s commercial drone division and for the purposes of this article we will look at the cost of their drones as a good reference point.
NOTE: The cost of the commercial drones detailed below can still rise as you start to add different accessories, spare batteries etc.. but the pricing shown provides a good baseline example of the level of pricing you will expect to pay.
Entry Level Commercial Drone
The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise drone is the baseline offering from DJI and has a baseline purchase cost of around £2000 or $3000 USD.
This drone has high-resolution thermal and visual cameras, the M2EA supports up to 32× digital zoom and is capable of centimetre-level positioning accuracy with the RTK module, meaning it is an ideal surveying drone and with the thermal camera, an ideal missing persons drone or fire-crew support drone.
Mid-Level Commercial Drone
The DJI Phantom 4 RTK is a mid-level offering from DJI and has a baseline purchase cost of around £5000 or $7000 USD.
This drone is one of the more familiar looking drones from DJI and the RTK provides next gen mapping data acquisition, featuring TimeSync, meaning it is an excellent surveying, mapping and inspection workflow drone.
High-End Commercial Drone
The Matrice 300RTK is a high-end and tough commercial drone from DJI and has a baseline purchase cost of around £10000 or $14000 USD.
As a high-end drone it comes as no surprise that it is equipped with Aviation-grade Situational Awareness, recording flight information such as aircraft attitude, altitude, velocity, wind speed and wind direction. It is also integrated with the DJI Health Management System and payloads such as the Zenmuse Z30 for the optimal performance in the harshest of conditions.
Commercial Drone Summary
The cost of typical commercial drones can range from £2000 / $3000 USD to £10000 / $14000 USD depending on the type of drone work you are going to undertake. The drones mentioned can increase in cost when factoring in accessories. There are of course many more expensive drones with varying capabilities but as a guide, these are good pricing references.