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Using a Drone in the UK, what regulations?

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by rgrebby, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. rgrebby

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    Hi, i'm new here so please excuse the questions.
    I'm in the UK and run a photographic studio here, we have been asked on a number of occasions for Drone type footage but havnt had the ability to provide it. We have decided to get some information together and see what is required to get up and running.

    I see that on the CAA website they say you are required to have PFAW, is this something that is required by law and if so where can I find this information?
    If its not required is there anything that is needed in order to provide drone footage to a paying client?

    Also, what rules are there for building a portfolio of work for a commercial company and getting footage that someone is not actually paying for?

    I'm sure I will have more questions but hopefully people will be kind enough to help.
     
  2. rockydog

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    For any commercial activity with a drone, a PFAW is a mandatory requirement. There are many UK companies offering courses to enable you to acquire one, and the likely cost is in the region of £2000.00.

    One provider is Heliguy.com, and a look at their website will give you an idea of what is involved.

    Building a portfolio for no charge is a slightly tricky area.....if the resulting footage is going to be used for advertising, it could be deemed to be a commercial activity which you hope will lead to payment in the future.

    You also need to to look at the CAA regulations regarding the limitations as to where you can fly....height restrictions/proximity to people and structures etc, and see whether these would permit the type of photography you intend to undertake.
     
  3. rgrebby

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    Great, thank you for the advise, i've been finding a lot of different information out and its hard to get information you can trust from companies that say you have to buy from them to do something, when sometimes all you need to do is file some paperwork and its all ok.

    So the PFAW is required by law and to obtain one of these you must pass a test?
     
  4. rockydog

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    To the question above....Yes.

    Have a look here:
    CAA training for drones | Heliguy.com

    They are by no means the only company providing training, but the link above gives you an idea of what is involved.

    (The whole procedure is not only expensive ...it's fairly time consuming as well!)
     
  5. rgrebby

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    Fantastic thank you, we want to make sure that if we pursue this that its not going to get stagnated by loads of amateurs like the wedding industry.

    So with regards to getting footage without being paid for it, for example free jobs for portfolio and building a portfolio. Is this a grey area and would the same rules for private use be in affect?

    Is there a specific name for the course that needs to be obtained? (I think I found it.. NQE full-category course)
     
    #5 rgrebby, Apr 19, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  6. rockydog

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    Regarding the 'amateurs'....just because it's illegal, it doesn't mean that people don't do it! There are plenty of people who are either unaware of the law, or who think the chances of getting caught are low enough to risk it. However, recent events, as reported on the BBC and in the press, are likely to result in more restrictions being put in place.

    The unpaid footage is a grey area, particularly if end result is for commercial gain. You would do better to contact the CAA for a definitive answer. The rules for private flying are very much the same with regard to heights/distance from people and structures etc.

    Out of interest, what sort of filming have you got in mind?
     
  7. rgrebby

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    We have various projects in mind, things that we already shoot but footage from the air could add another element to it. For example, corporate video, weddings, location shots, music videos to name a few of the things we already do.
    Maybe some sports, surveying, travel etc
     
  8. rockydog

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    Good luck if you decide to go ahead with it :)
     
  9. rgrebby

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    Thanks, its all really fact finding, have flown a bunch already but nothing commercial. Times are changing though and it would be good to be fully legit.