Case Studies

Case Study: Ensuring FAA compliance for CoStar’s 180 Drones with Measure Ground Control


Share | 10/28/2020


CoStar Group is the number one provider of information, analytics, and online marketplaces to the commercial real estate industry in the United States and the United Kingdom. CoStar prides itself on offering the most comprehensive real estate database available and having the largest research department in the industry.

Given the fast-paced nature of commercial real estate transactions, CoStar’s clients depend on a vast, regularly updated database that is easily accessible. To this end, CoStar added a fleet of drones to its highly esteemed field research group in 2017. Today, a total of 180 field researchers are operating drones throughout the United States as part of CoStar’s research group — and this facet is responsible for a significant portion of CoStar’s 5.1 million data changes per day and 14 million digital photographs taken annually.

“Drones give us the ability to take photos of things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to capture,” said Fletcher Caldwell, Senior Manager of Field Research at CoStar.“ Without a drone, especially for taller buildings, there’s no way to get a great shot from the ground or a low-flying airplane, particularly in downtown areas where you have limited space in which to maneuver.”

In 2019, CoStar signed on with Measure Ground Control through its initial Beta program for a license of 40 users. Shortly thereafter, CoStar’s CEO requested an uptick in drone use, leading to an additional 140 users.

With growth comes new challenges, and CoStar soon found themselves in need of a catch-all solution to manage their ever-growing fleet.

The Challenge

Ensuring FAA Compliance

Regardless of company size, staying on top of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations can take up plenty of time and resources. Through Measure Ground Control, CoStar’s research managers can track flight paths and ensure compliance for each of its 180 drones and their pilots on a daily basis to prevent unintended FAA violations.

“We need to have a sense of where our drones are — and who is flying them — at all times,” said Fletcher. “We’re frequently contacted by the public, the FAA, and various other sources about matters related to drone traffic, and Measure Ground Control software provides us with instant feedback, which helps all parties involved…we can literally playback the time, the unit, and what was happening and say ‘here’s what went on in X location at X time.’”

The Results

Improved Capabilities and Unrivaled Customer Service

Responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating a large volume of data that can change from one minute to the next, CoStar has made it top of mind to streamline inventory and processes for securing and uploading data across multiple systems. Measure Ground Control has helped not only with efficiency but also with the needs of CoStar’s large-scale research group.

“Since signing on with Measure Ground Control, we’ve been able to manage our drones and drone operators in a way that’s been more efficient, accurate, and helpful,” said Mark Anderson, Field Research Manager at CoStar. “As a large enterprise, we have some nuances in the way we employ our drones, and so they’ve been good about designing their product for a market fit, tracking progress, and always making sure we’re in the loop.”

Aside from feature requests, CoStar’s ability to rely on AgEagle from a customer service perspective has been second to none.

“One time I was out in the field and became aware of an urgent need to make a very specific tweak to an application I was integrating with Measure Ground Control software,” said Fletcher. “Before I knew it, I was in touch with the team at AgEagle and they were working to fix my problem. This attentiveness and fast action were especially valued considering the problem wasn’t rooted in Measure Ground Control application.”

Why Choose Measure Ground Control?

From small businesses to industry giants like CoStar, companies with drone programs are under constant pressure to stay up-to-date and adapt to an industry that is always changing. Combining fast-paced technology with the attentiveness of a devoted team of specialists, Measure Ground Control can pave the way for enterprises of all sizes to stay ahead of the curve and ultimately lead their clients to success.

You can contact CoStar here.

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