The use of drones in commercial aerial photography has been around for longer than you may think. However, previous technology has meant the equipment and results have not been to a sufficient standard to meet the needs of professionals. Technology and understanding has now moved on and the results can be breath-taking.
Given the possible risks involved in operating a drone the industry is heavily regulated to ensure the safety of the public and other airspace users. As such all operators are required to hold qualifications specific to operating a drone and must obtain permissions from the CAA before carrying out any commercial activity. Depending on the location of the work air traffic control permissions may also be required. The operator must also hold an operator qualification issued by one of the National Qualifying Entities (NQE).
When instructing commercial services from an drone operator you should ensure that they have one of the above qualifications and the necessary permissions from the CAA to carry out that work. Kingfisher APS operators hold either the necessary qualifications and have the required permissions to carry out commercial aerial photography using drones. Copies of our documentation are available on request. We ensure permissions and clearances are sought prior to the start of any work and fully brief our clients on any restrictions which may be imposed.
As part of carrying out any commercial operation Kingfisher APS carry out full site surveys and produce health and safety risk assessments relating to the operations. This is done for every occasion we visit a site whether we have carried out work at that site on a prior date or not.
Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous operators in the market who do not hold the necessary qualification or required permissions to carry out commercial work. These operators are unlikely to be trained to fly their drone correctly or safely, are unlikely to be trained to carry out the necessary risk assessments and will not be able to provide Public Liability Insurance which will leave you, the client, liable for any damages which could be considerable. We urge anyone who is considering using drone operators for any service to ensure that you are satisfied they meet the legal requirements to fly a the drone and that they have the necessary training and insurance cover for carrying out the work you are instructing them on. If you have any concerns or would like more information about this please do not hesitate to contact us at Kingfisher APS and we will be more than happy to discuss this with you.