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Commercial licence for work that could be considered to be of commercial use(UK)

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by Alec200, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Alec200

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    I would appreciate advice on this. I only fly as a hobby with no commercial licence. I have liability insurance for private use only.

    I work for a government body in the UK. A member of the organisation has approached me and offered me the chance to produce some raw footage of one of the government bodies premises. The footage would be handed to a private company who have the contract for the production. The aim of the production is to make it available to foreign governments considering using the premises for training packages on offer.

    The site is large and bordered on 3 sides by an industrial estate and the final side by a woodland. There would be no problem obviously of obtaining written permission to fly on the site. I would have the freedom to complete the filming in my work or private time. If the route of the filming required me to fly close to the border of the site I.e. Within 50 of neighbouring industrial sites, I image there would be no issue obtaining the owners permission.

    I don't know the full legalities of what constitutes a "commercial purpose" to the CAA in the UK necessitating a commercial licence and commercial insurance for this project.

    I would love to undertake the work, as it could be a foot in the door to more projects and ultimate justifying spending £1600 on a commercial licence and £500 a year on commercial insurance but am worried that this is a clear case of me needing to commercial licence to undertake the project even though I would not be getting paid.

    Thanks for any advice.


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  2. Tris

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    If your not getting paid then its not work I would say. Have to ask the question though if its a government agency then they have deep pockets and lots of contacts needs be let them get a professional licensed drone pilot in for the footage.
     
  3. DRR

    DRR

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    Of course its work. If they post it online to make money then its paid work. Makes no difference if you get paid or not. We all have footage we have taken in the past while we were learning etc. If we use it later to make money for someone then its paid work. Black and white.
     
  4. DesertLand

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    What about the tons of YouTube tutorial video's out there? I suspect plenty of them don't have a commercial drone permit, yet they have paid ads in there video's
     
  5. DRR

    DRR

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    You answered your own question I guess. As I said.. black and white. Take a photo of a house for hobby... no problem. Use that photo to sell the house later and there's a problem.
     
  6. Alec200

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    Thanks for the advice. It confirmed my suspicions that it was a no go from the start. I turned the project down a couple of days ago and asked the guy to keep me in mind for any opportunities that arise in the future once I have my commercial licence.
    To that end, does anyone have any advice regarding pathways and companies to achieve CAA approval to undertake projects such as that proposed?

    Thanks for your time.


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  7. sergekouper

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    There are now a few bodies (NQE, National Qualification Entities) who are able to qualify you as a UAV operator,
    EuroUSC, Resource group, UAV Air, UAV8... Heliguy (highly recommended!)
    The pathway:
    Enroll with one of these companies, Study the material they provide, get your ground course and pass your ground exam.
    Then start writing your operating manual in collaboration with your NQE , pass your flight assessment, let your NQE submitting it to the CAA. Pay. Wait 2 months and get your PFAW valid for 1 year.
     
    Tris likes this.
  8. Alec200

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    Thank you.
    UAV Air seem the most local to me in Folkestone, Kent. Any opinions on their operation? Would people recommend a 3-5 day intensive course or something over a longer period?
    What are the ongoing costs of maintaining a PfAW for a craft under 7kg (Phantom 4)?
    How much is commercial insurance covering liability only?
    Is the current pathway likely to continue to be the only access route to commercially operate a small craft (under 2kg like the P4). Would hate to make the investment for the laws to be relaxed for very small craft.


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  9. Astrobiker

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    I went with Commercial Drone Training. They offer a 5 day residential BUT it comes with lots of opportunity to fly, many make you go away and take the flying test another day somewhere else. We did things like building surveys and people came in and shared the type of drone work they do. You may not be interested in that part but this is the bit that really matters the Ops Manual. Do the other courses have you in a position at the end of the course with an Ops Manual ready to go to the CAA. CDT do and they check it and send it off with your application. Ops Manuals are often rejected and if they don't tell you how to fill it in (its not always obvious) it can be an expensive and time consuming process getting the Ops Manual accepted.

    I have no links to them apart from being a very satisfied customer and am currently waiting for my approval to return.
     
  10. Alec200

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    Yes I looked at their residential course earlier today. Looked a complete package. Is there the opportunity to focus on the UAV that you own (P4) or do you use different drones?


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  11. Astrobiker

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    Yes they welcome you to fly your own drone or you can fly theirs. For my test I used their drone as it was no difference to mine. Most of the people on the course were flying their drones. The site they use is a nice place and you fly up on the hill behind the campus.

    Do watch the Ops Manual side because it can be a key differentiator between the providers which I didn't realise until I attended the course
     
  12. Tris

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    Cover Page

    This is the CDT site. They are most local to me so I think I will do a course with them.
     
  13. Astrobiker

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    Well I am pleased to report that yesterday I received my permission to fly from the CAA at the first attempt thanks to the CDT course
     
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  14. sergekouper

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    Congratulations!, and welcome to the club! :)