What the client needs to consider when hiring a commercial drone operator.

What the client needs to consider when hiring a commercial drone operator.

When hiring a commercial drone operator the client needs to have a clear picture of what they want to achieve.

In the first place, only CAA approved operators can undertake commercial drone operations. As a result, the operators have undertaken training and have passed theory and practical assessments. They also hold liability insurance to run their business operations.

What information is that is important for the commercial drone operator?

In this case, the important information is location, time, date and description of the task.

Location

Accordingly, the commercial drone operator has to consider the airspace that the operation is going to take place in. For this reason, it is important to give either OS Map reference or Longitude and Latitude.

Time and Date

It’s important to realise, depending on the airspace category the operator may have to apply for extra permissions. Consequently, these can take a minimum of 28days. Therefore you should try and forward plan. Equally, give consideration to the time of day with use or congestion.

section of aviation map commercial drone operator
A section of an Aviation Map showing how crowded the air space is around Southampton

Description

Equally important, the task requires to be as detailed as possible. For this reason, the more information that is available allows the operator to plan throughly.

How the information’s used by the operator.

Accordingly, the first consideration the operator has is to ascertain the airspace. The classification of G is the only place the operator can fly without further permission. Equally, important the operator uses OS Maps and Google Maps to gain as much info as possible on the topography. At the same time, this gives the operator the chance to look at any other factors such as:-

  • Take Off and Landing areas
  • Possible numbers of staff required to operate safely
  • Traffic
  • Pedestrians
  • Distances
  • Obstructions
  • Power lines
  • anything else that will aid planning.

How this helps

All of the above allows the operator to put together a remote plan for the operation. As the day gets nearer other information is gathered:-

  • Permissions (if needed)
  • Weather
  • Risk assessments
  • Look at the safety measures identified from the risk assessments
  • Permissions from the landowner(s) where alternative landing site has been identified
  • Any Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) notices
  • Identify access controls if required
  • Air Traffic Control Permissions (if required)

On site check

In addition, before any flying takes place on site tall of the above must be revisited. Particular attention is paid to the weather and Health & Safety. If rain is falling or due then consideration has to be given to a postponement. Drones do not like the wet.

Its also at this stage that the log book for the flight is started. This records the flight timing, batteries, weather, temperature. Also records aircraft condition, aircraft preparation and post flight information.

As a result, this may seem a long tedious process. However, the CAA regulate the flying of drones for commercial operations. They require to see the manual and log books at any time. Although this is more likely if things go wrong. As the drone is classed as an aircraft, you will have seen the Gatwick chaos.

Summary

For one thing, yes this is a long process but responsible businesses take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk. That’s to the client, public, property and themselves.

For more information contact Martin to find out how your photography can stand out or use the form below.

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