Aerial photography is cool and drones are increasingly popular. I am happy to say that paulkporterphotography has gone through all the courses and passed the assessments required to obtain Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
This means I can offer aerial imagery services for commercial use.
I also have permission to operate a drone at night which allows for a greater operation timescale, and means that the opportunity to capture sunrise and sunset imagery is not hindered by regular daytime permissions.
Recent Commercial Drone Commissions:
I use a DJ Phantom 4 Pro. This is an amazing bit of kit with a 20MP camera that allows us to create high resolution imagery and 4k video. Should something else be required, I collaborate with other drone pilots to allow us access to the right machine for the job.
As with commercial photography, all jobs are different and so are the rates. Before any quote is provided, I have to make sure that it can be a safe operation. To do this I need the location postcode, date and any further operation requirements (stills, video etc) or knowledge that will aid in a successful operation.
Please hit the Contact link above, and send over your requirements.
The small print: A bit about the rules and regulations of drone operations.
AND .... Do you really need Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) or could you just get a drone and fly it?
If you purchase a drone and fly for commercial purposes and something goes wrong, there can be huge implications. Insurance will not be valid (if at all present) and there will be a case of gross negligence towards those involved for not knowing the proper procedures with operations. To say "I didnt know" would not make for a good case.
The PfCO is a document which is often mistaken for a Drone License however, it is a permission and not a license.
In order to attain this permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as a Remote Pilot I went through the following:
* Pass a theory exam at the conclusion of a Ground School; delivered by organisations called a National Qualified Entity (NQE).
* Create and maintain a document called an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operating Safety Case (UAS OSC), more commonly known as an Operations Manual (My paulkporterphotography's Ops manual is 59 pages long ...) The Operations Manual details the procedures for the safe operation of drones in accordance with the national regulations.
* Pass a practical flight assessment to show I have the necessary skills to operate their drone.
There is a lot more to it than simply purchasing and flying.
UAS OSC Version 1 Volume 1 available upon request
This process provides assurance that the Remote Pilot has an in-depth knowledge of the legislation and regulations that governs the operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA).
As a Remote Pilot, I must also maintain a currency requirement to ensure that I remain competent with my aircraft and maintain a high level of skill. My PfCO must also be renewed annually at significant cost too.
Suddenly, the difference between that individual who also has a drone and myself, as a commercial drone operator, becomes apparent. The level of training and skill to not only operate the drone, but also conduct comprehensive pre-flight planning, wildly separates the two. In this day and age of liability, it is highly likely that the individual will not be insured to operate their aircraft, and as such, the liability will fall to the client.
As a commercial drone operator however, I must have adequate levels of insurance to meet a liability should an incident occur. Additionally, there are strict regulations which cover the commercial operation of drones such as the Air Navigation Order 2016 and Civil Aviation Publication (CAP) 722. Individuals who operate outside of these regulations may render themselves, and their clients liable to prosecution.
If you are considering hiring a commercial drone operator, make sure that you hire a professional with the necessary training, qualifications, permissions and insurance, like I do.
For permissions I am covered with insurance that is EC785/2004 compliant. Should the operation be deemed unsafe due to weather or an occurrence that cannot be foreseen in any risk assessment, the operation will be postponed until maximum safety can be assured.
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