Operating a drone for commercial filming and photography attracts many questions.  We have listed a few of the most frequently asked questions below.  However if there is anything not covered here, feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Are you licensed and insured (CAA Approved operator)?

Yes, this is a mandatory requirement and we are qualified to fly drones commercially.  Dropzone Images has obtained "Permission for Commercial Operatoins" (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).  As a commercial operator of UAVs we are governed and regulated by the CAA.

We currently hold insurance which meets the required standard of EC-785/2004 regulations.  This provides cover in the event of injury and damage for each flight.  Public liability insurance upto £2 million is also included, and this can be increased upon request for a specific operation.

What are the height, distance and time limits?

Our drones can be flown upto a height of 400ft (120m) above surface level.  The maximum distance the drone can be flown from the pilot is 500m (this is to ensure the drone is within visual line of sight at all times).

Battery capacity enables an uninterrupted flight time of approx. 25 to 30 minutes.  Additional pre-charged batteries will be carried so we can quickly replace the battery and continue with the operation within minutes.

Can you fly and operate near airports?

Yes.  With the correct planning and risk assessment, authorisation can be obtained from air traffic control to fly in FRZ (Flight Restricted Zones).  

Are there any other restrictions?

Our CAA Permission for Commercial Operations clearly defines the following.

  • We must maintain a distance of 50m from people and property not under the control of the pilot.
  • During take off and landing we must maintain a distance of 30m from people and property not under the control of the pilot.
  • Permission of the landowner to take off and land must be obtained.
  • Do not fly directly overhead or within a minimum distance of 150m from an open air assembly of over 1000 people.
  • Restrictions apply to certain areas of Central London and additional permissions to fly in these areas need to be sought from the CAA.
  • Restrictions and rules apply to flying near an airport and aerodrome.
Can you fly at night?

Yes, we have been granted additional permission approved by the CAA to operate at night allowing us to achieve some great shots making use of the long exposure and providing many more options.  We would need to visit the site during daylight hours to undergo a site risk assessment prior to carrying out a night operation.

Can you fly in any weather?

Weather is an extremely important element which we must respect to ensure that we carry out a safe flight.  We are unable to operate in rain, sleet, snow, and high winds.  Weather forecasts will be monitored leading up to a planned flight, and we will communicate any concerns as soon as possible in case the flight needs to be postponed until a later date.

Can I see what is being filmed?

Yes, the aerial drone footage is streamed in real time to the pilot’s remote controller. This allows the client on the ground to see what the aerial camera is capturing and therefore enables the client to have an input in the camera pan, tilt, framing and flight path to achieve the desired results.

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