When it comes to obtaining aerial footage or imagery for commercial usage, a business has a few choices. Do they get in a friend who happens to have a drone, maybe they will buy one and do it themselves? The smart business owner or manager would talk to a professional though!

As with anything that is offered as a service, there will always be some who want to cut corners or save a bob, regardless of where that leaves them in terms of safety and legal compliance. There are also some who are ignorant to the current legislation surrounding commercial drone operations. That has serious safety and legal implications, for the public, the operator and also the business owner/ manager who commissions a UAV operator. In the opening paragraph I laid out three choices a business owner/ manager could potentially make when deciding how to obtain aerial imagery and footage. Let’s look at the three options here.

Option 1: Get a friend in who happens to have a drone.

There is potentially so much wrong with this option, legally and in terms of safety too. If the friend isn’t a professional UAV (drone) operator then they most likely haven’t been granted Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) by the Civil Aviation Authority. That also means they most very likely do not have the specialist public liability insurance in place either, as a prerequisite for this insurance is that a PfCO is held and current. The friend in question may not have any formal training. That could mean the operator/ friend operates the UAV outside of the legal requirements laid out by the CAA, this could lead to criminal charges being brought against the operator.

So that leaves the business owner/ manager who asks a mate with a drone in a sticky wicket legally. Any flights conducted where the images or footage is used for valuable consideration are illegal if the operator does not comply with all of the afore mentioned requirements. Not only would the operator be facing criminal charges, the business that commissioned the friend could be too.

Option 2: Buy a drone and DIY

If a business owner/ manager decides to buy their own drone for the purposes of capturing aerial images and footage in order to gain valuable consideration from that media, then unless they apply for and are granted a PfCO by the CAA, hold the necessary specialist insurance and their operators have a qualification that is recognised by the CAA, they are breaking the law.

Valuable consideration pretty much means any form of commercial usage, whether it be generating income from Youtube ads on the video, using the imagery and footage for commercial promotion purposes or simply selling on the images and footage. So an estate agent for example would fall foul of the law if they decided to use a drone to capture still aerial images of the properties on their books, unless the afore mentioned requirements were met.

Option 3: Speak to the professionals

Here at Eye in Sky Media we have been granted Permission for Commercial Operations, we hold the necessary insurance and we are qualified and trained UAV operators. Our prime concern above all others is operational safety and we operate in strict accordance with the permissions we’ve been granted by the CAA. We’d love to talk to you about your aerial media requirements, we can arrange free quotations with no obligation and our rates are competitive.

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All kinds of Stupid!

Want to see some examples of UAV’s in the wrong hands? Watch the video below. Although some of the clips in the video may seem funny, it does ram home a serious message that a UAV in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing! Some of people operating the UAV’s in the video could face criminal charges too.