Drone Source EP. 4: Barriers and Opportunities for the Drone Industry

By elsight | September 21st, 2021

  • Facebook-w
  • LinkedIn-w
  • Youtube-w
  • Twitter-w
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On the July 18th, 2021 episode of the Drone Source podcast, host Asaf Raz spoke with Richard Nichols, founder of Airwards and Scott Jonasz, VP of global sales & alliances at Elsight.

Across an invigorating discussion, the triad spoke at length about the history of Richard Nichols and his non-profit organization Airwards, how to build a global commercial UAV/drone industry with recognition, what the main barriers to success and opportunities for growth are across the drone industry, the purity of Airwards vision and future plans for the recognition platform, what to expect from the drone industry in the future, and how Airwards is working to change the industry by bringing professional teams together to highlight the innovation being achieved across borders.

Introducing Richard Nichols and Airwards: The Drone Industry’s Recognition Award Event

Richard Nichols is a London, United Kingdom based inventor, entrepreneur, and marketing expert that founded the nonprofit organization Airwards to provide recognition across the commercial drone industry to highlight the innovation and good work that key stakeholders are making across the global industry.


BVLOS SWaP guide - Blogs


Founded in September of 2020 and currently working to roll out its year 2 award show for the 2021/2022 calendar year, Airwards is an online awards platform, that showcases the best practices and new perspectives on the groundbreaking and impactful work completed across the global drone industry by recognizing the best in class work completed across a multitude of different sectors and industry segments.

“I didn’t see anywhere across the drone industry where people were coming together in a positive way. So, I wanted to create something that would bring people together across the industry and one thing that I had seen in the digital industry was the success of awards shows in bringing people and so the idea for Airwards was born,” said Richard Nichols.

Airwards was founded with a purity of vision to recognize industry achievements from different corners of the drone industry to drive collaboration and help push the industry forward.

Richard Nichols’ trajectory towards founding Airwards began when he launched his professional career working with a U.K.-based helicopter company. He would go on to found a digital marketing agency, building websites and apps during the responsive app revolution. Eventually, this focus gave way to a newfound passion for commercial drones and UAVs when he began consulting with drone companies and securing permission for commercial operation (PfCO), a critical element of legally being able to operate commercial drones within British airspace.


Elsight production podcast - Drone source

The non-profit organization Airwards came about to cut through the competition across the industry, bring people together, highlight the innovation and drive a culture of collaboration across borders to share use cases and highlight the good work being done within the ever-expanding industry segments connected to the commercial drone industry.

Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement: Elsight and Airwards

Scott Jonasz, Vice President of Global Sales and Alliances at Elsight is an accomplished executive, manager, and digital transformation accelerator with a progressive career in enterprise sales/business development that is passionate about supporting the growth of the commercial drone industry.

“We’re investing in the industry by allowing drone manufacturers, operators and enabling tech to start where they are. We help them grow and implement monetization patterns to help them go through that growth phase. That’s how we’re trying to invest in the industry ourselves, through these investment programs. Leverage our technology and we will grow with you over time type of thing. And that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to enable the industry to grow at the speed and the velocity that the industry can take right now, or the individual business owners can take right now, not what’s to be expected later.”


HVIP virtual event content access


Since joining Elsight, Joansz has focused his attention on capitalizing on the amazing growth prospect of the industry and the opportunity to build a whole new way of life like the Wright Brothers famously did by shifting the world from hobbyist exploration to realizing the immense growth opportunities of true commercial aviation.


Ebook BVLOS across the the drone industry


“So yeah, the industry is just like other industries where there is public perception and entities out there that are standing for the people, I. E. Governments, that focus on regulation, certification, safety, all those different things. And as you start off, you kind of need to pass through those gates in order for people to go through effectively and make sure they’re doing the right thing, not only for the industry, but it is essential to continue working across the industry and with the government to find the right way to regulate the industry, promote safety, and create better public perceptions around what utility drones can offer.”

Airwards is positioned to play a strategic role in that growth and future success by providing the foundation to recognizing the advancements and evolution taking place across the industry in a way that puts a human face on the industry, helping to drive collaboration and innovation across borders.


Ultimate guide for drone connectivity 2021


“The sky is no longer the limit. It’s the destination, especially for this entire industry and all the little dreamers out there looking up at the sky and not thinking about going to space or not thinking about flying in a plane, but actually thinking about what they can do with drones.”

Currently, the commercial UAV and drone industry is working to solidify its stance as a utility-as-a-service and shift towards more fully realizing the potential to provide enablement-as-a-service. Currently, the utility of drones is being leveraged for many different and unique use cases, just like what we have seen since the creation of the global aviation industry. Planes enable global businesses to remove borders, trade and invigorate business by providing new and unprecedented levels of accessibility.

Building the Recognition Network for the Global Drone Industry

The commercial drone and UAV industry is continuing to develop in exciting new ways and Airwards is proud to collaborate with industry leaders and innovators like Elsight that are focused on achieving competitive advantage by becoming global leaders in their respective areas of the global BVLOS industry.

Listen to this month’s edition of the Drone Source podcast to learn more about the good work Elsight and Airwards are doing to advance excellence across the commercial drone industry.


Book a discovery call


Contact Us
Be in
the Know
Let’s Connect
Let’s Connect
Drop us a line
Book a discovery call
Download Resource

Become a Partner

Become an Elsight Shareholder