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Don't Do Dodgy Drones

19 July 2018

Only use approved commercial drone users or you could be out of pocket – the Civil Aviation Authority has warned.

If you are paying someone to fly a drone you must check that they have the necessary safety approval or you could be paying for an unsafe operator that probably won’t have any insurance if things go wrong, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said. They will be flying illegally and you may face prosecution as well.

Drones are now being used commercially every day. From surveys, to wedding photography, to estate agents filming properties and this use will continue to grow. There are thousands of CAA approved drone operators undertaking this work. But the CAA is also aware that there are a growing number of illegal operators offering to fly drones for money and potentially posing a safety risk.

CAA permission for commercial operations ensures the operator of the drone has the necessary flying skills, knows the safety rules and has insurance. In most cases the operator will have attended a specific training course to obtain all the skills and knowledge necessary.

Approved operators will know what is and isn't possible to safely achieve with a drone.

The CAA's Jonathan Nicholson said: “Anyone looking to hire a drone pilot must check that they are properly approved. That's your guarantee that you are hiring someone with the suitable qualifications and experience. And in the situation that something goes wrong and potentially property gets damaged they will have the right insurance to cover any costs.

“The UK's drone industry is expanding rapidly, so to make sure we achieve its full potential we need drone operators to follow the rules and fly safely.”

Each commercial drone operator who has been granted CAA permission will have a document granting the permission and setting out conditions for use.

"You should ask the operator to show you his or her permission document and discuss how the drone flight you want might be achieved within the conditions of their permission," said Nicholson.


Drones for hire

Mark Boyt, CEO of Drone Safe Register, a drones for hire website, said: "It's really important that anyone looking to hire a drone only uses a CAA approved operator. At Drone Safe Register we will only ever use operators with this approval and we fully support the CAA's work to alert everyone to the need to use safe and responsible drone companies.”

Gavin Wishart, Chair of commercial drone representative body the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems UK (ARPAS-UK) said: “Users of drone services are taking substantial risks, compromising safety and quality of work, unless they use CAA approved operators. With a searchable list of qualified members, ARPAS-UK Members have a Code of Conduct requiring all commercial operators to be CAA approved."

To check the list of approved operators - Click Here


Picture: Don't mean to drone on but using an approved drone pilot is a must.


Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 19 July 2018


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