It has become apparent over the last few weeks that there Is a marked increase in (a) the number of Drones being flown around by hobbyists and (b) the number of near misses by drone operators. Various airports have reported unlicensed drone use in their area of operation, which would suggest an increase in illegal drone operations. The latest high profile case being the closing of Dubai airport last week due to a drone operating in its area of operations. The highest recorded incident involving a drone is 12,500ft, the maximum legal altitude is 400ft. 31 times higher than allowed. It is this type of flouting of the law that will endanger the public and also the reputation of the professional Drone industry.
Lets look at the first statistic (a) 2015 to 2016 there has been a 35% increase in the number of Drones that have been purchased in the UK. And we are about to entre the silly season for buying such Tech, namely Christmas. According to Amazon drones are going to be the No1 must have toy for Christmas and the sales will be even higher than last year. There isn’t a problem with that in itself, my fear is that there will also be a correlation in the increase in the number of accidents and incident related issues regarding drones. More needs to be done to educate the public regarding the Law around the use of UAV’s. The main points being:
1 Do not fly any closer than 50 metres of any person, vessel or structure. This basically means do not fly in peoples gardens or over their property, is also means that you do not fly near any airports
2 Do not fly the drone so far away that you cannot see it, the law says 400ft vertically and 500 metres lateral distance. Personally I think if your drone is 400ft high and 500m away from you its impossible for a normal sighted person to see it.
3 Do not use the photographs or video that you have taken for commercial use as you will need a PFCO (Permit For Commercial Operations Certificate) issued by the CAA.
4 Do not take off from land that you have not got prior permission to use in such a way.
If you are thinking of hiring a drone operator to do your filming work be sure that they are allowed to perform such tasks by checking them out on the CAA website or by clicking this link:http://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/CAA/Content/Standard_Content/Commercial_industry/Aircraft/Unmanned_aircraft/20160819RptUAVcurrent.pdf
Not only will you be sure that the operator is legal you will also be sure that the product you are getting is from a professional that has been trained and has all the prerequisite insurances to undertake the job in hand. There is also a massive difference between a hobbyist taking the video and a professional Drone Pilot. In life you get what you pay for, its the same in aerial photography.