Whether you’re looking to stay on top of the latest drone industry updates during your daily walks, or you want to learn something new about drones while doing housework, consider subscribing to drone podcasts. The best drone podcasts can make it easy to consume news, reviews, commentary tips and maybe even drone industry rumors while you’re on the go, so you can reduce screen time while staying informed (and maybe even getting some of those Fitbit steps in).
With that, I’ve compiled the 8 best drone podcasts to tune in to (and maybe even subscribe to permanently!). The following drone podcasts are listed in no particular order:
1. The Interdrone Podcast
The Interdrone podcast is the weekly, audio version of its namesake drone conference, Interdrone, which is one of the largest annual drone podcasts in the world.
The weekly podcast does an excellent job staying and top of the latest drone news, delivering stories from a variety of news stories alongside fresh commentary on the week’s news. Commentary typically comes from the weekly guest; the Interdrone podcast typically chooses a different prolific figure from the drone industry each week to serve as a guest. Notable guests have included Dronecode’s Ramon Roche, UAM researcher Dr. Tulinda Larsen, DJI’s Romeo Durscher and yes, even myself a couple times.
Shows tend to last an hour and generally follow a delightfully predictable format of the week’s latest news (for the first half of the show) followed by a dive into a hot new product, broader discussion topic, or profile of an interesting person (in the second half).
Hosts: Mike Pehel, chairman of InterDrone, and CJ Smith, Marketing Manager at Interdrone
2. The Air Up There
The Air Up There is the only, official Federal Aviation Administration podcast. While not specific to drones, it’s worth a listen for drone pilots looking to expand their knowledge of aviation (and maybe one day get a manned pilot’s license). That said, the podcast does promise to cover drones, in additional to all other aspects of traditional aviation.
The Air Up There is a newcomer to the drone podcast world, having just launched in August 2020, but the podcast is proving to be timely. Recent episodes focus on how the FAA is handling the current COVID-19 public health emergency, but upcoming episodes promise to look toward the future, diving into topics like drones delivering packages to your doorstep, air taxis that fly without a pilot onboard, and supersonic planes that can transport people across the world in a fraction of the time passenger planes do today.
Hosts: Alison Duquette, who has worked at the FAA for more than 20 years, and John Croft, an FAAer, general aviation pilot and a flight instructor
3. AirVuz After Hours
AirVuz is shaping up to be the place to go for all things drone media. They rose to fame for being a site to host your aerial footage, popular especially among FPV drone racers. But the online drone video sharing site has massively grown, especially after AirVuz acquired the popular NYC Drone Film Festival (which will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19). Their online presence doesn’t stop there; of course, they also have a podcast called AirVuz After Hours.
The weekly podcast lasts about 30 minutes and offers up plenty of fascinating interviews with drone racers, while also often covering other aspects of the drone industry including interviews with National Geographic photographers and even, once, me!
Hosts: Jacob Blaeser, Director of Community Outreach & Projects at AirVuz, and Tyler Mason, Director of Digital Media at AirVuz
CommercialDrones.FM is one of the longest-running drone podcasts out there. The podcast first caught my attention all the way back in 2016 when they ran and excellent episode covering test prep and study guides for the FAA’s Part 107 knowledge test. That podcast episode (it’s episode #6!) is still relevant and worth listening to today if you’re hoping to pass your Part 107 test. And shortly after that, the podcast actually featured The Drone Girl.
Episodes are infrequent, but that’s not a bad thing. Smith only covers the biggest news without the weekly fluff, such as one of his latest episodes diving deep into the Skydio 2 drone. It’s a great one to subscribe too if you already feel inundated with too many podcasts, but still want to stay informed of the top drone news.
Hosts: Ian Smith, CEO and co-founder of Ware, whichWare deploys drones for warehouses to automate their inventory tracking and digitize their assets. Smith previously worked at Delair and DroneDeploy.
5. Drone to $1K podcast
My favorite thing about the Drone to $1K podcast is the unique focus it brings to the table. Unlike all the other drone podcasts that primarily go over drone news, this drone podcast is deeply focused on the business side of drones. It’s usually for entrepreneurs, small business owners or anyone looking to start a side hustle or freelance in drones.
The podcast gives listeners an inside look at how successful drone business owners got started and scaled their company. The schtick? The guests are making $1,000 per month and beyond — appropriate to the name of the podcast.
6. The Drone Trainer Podcast
The Drone Trainer podcast is another great one for someone looking to kickstart their own drone business. Chris digs into insightful stories from his guests — and he chooses interesting guests at that, such as an episode about flying BVLOS in Belize and the Maldives with Melissa Schiele and an episode about drone swarm light show with Hitomi Uematsu.
Hosts: Chris Anderson, CEO of The Drone Trainer and offers online drone training courses (note that’s a different Chris Anderson than another notorious Chris Anderson in the drone industry, CEO of 3D Robotics)
AIRT is somewhat of a newcomer to the world of drone podcasts, having launched in June 2020.
AIRT is actually a “dual-program podcast series” launched by the Airborne International Response Team, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting Drones For Good and official home of DroneResponders, a group that focuses on the use of drones in public safety and fire rescue.
The podcast focuses on using drones across the emergency management and public safety sectors, with episodes diving into how emergency managers, disaster response professionals, and non-governmental and humanitarian organization volunteers are using drones to make a positive impact around the world; as well as how public safety agencies are using drones to help save lives and protect property while also increasing first responders’ safety.
Subscribers will get episodes of two separate podcasts, the DroneResponders: UAS for Public Safety and Fire Rescue podcast, and a second podcast called Taming Disaster. The podcast is delivered weekly, with the two shows alternating each week.
The podcast has some serious backing, with sponsorship by AirXOS, which is part of GE Aviation, First iZ and Pix4D.
Host: Christopher Todd, a Certified Emergency Manager and Florida Professional Emergency Manager, FAA-certified Part 107 Remote Pilot, and executive director of AIRT; and Charles Werner, retired fire chief of the Charlottesville, Virginia fire department and director of the DRONERESPONDERS program.
8. Drone Radio Show
While I can’t say for sure, Drone Radio Show might be one of the longest-running drone podcasts out there, with shows dating back as far as 2014 (that’s ancient, in drone years!).
The weekly Drone Radio Show discusses emerging opportunities in the drone industry and how you can be a part of it. Goers always finds fascinating guests including, once, me! He talks to big industry players like AUVSI’s Brian Wynne, to cool researchers like a team of shark researchers at the Fullerton Drone Lab. And very importantly, his podcast has top-notch audio quality.
Hosts: Randy Goers, a full-time urban planner with a great side hustle: drone podcaster
Do you have another great drone podcast worth subscribing too? Leave a comment below!