Checking For Roof Damage - Much Safer Than a Ladder / Scaffold, & Done In Half Hour
Aerial surveys on buildings until now were extremely expensive. Even scaffolding or harnesses to get a look at high level brickwork would be time consuming and expensive. Hiring an unmanned aerial camera can get the job done easily in minutes
In a comparison with a full size helicopter, Aerial Video's R US Ltd are around 1/10th of the price, 1/10th of the noise, and are able to get images from below 400ft, which is lower and closer than a full size helicopter is allowed to fly. Combined with the fact you may wish to have a few ‘takes’ if you are shooting video, the costs of full size aviation can quickly spiral out of control.
The Legal Stuff
Air Navigation Order (UK)
The commercial use of UAV’s or ‘drones’ in the UK is covered under the Air Navigation Order. To do this commercially we have a full permit for commercial operations from the CAA in the UK which is required if images or video are taken for profit or gain. We always operate within all UK legislation be it the Data Protection Act, or the CAA regulations on commercial drone use. Full details of the CAA guidance can be found on their site here. We are also fully insured with specialist commercial drone operator insurance.
We must ensure that we do not break any privacy laws, and as the UAV will be taking images or video we must ensure we stick to the CAA regulations. These are set out to try to help this as well as safety. We are not permitted to fly within 50 meters of people, vehicles or any structure out of our control. (we can take off and land at least 30 meters from them). We are however allowed to fly over them at heights of greater than 50 meters. We are not allowed to fly within 150 meters of organised open air gatherings with more than 999 people, or congested areas. We will work with you to put together a flight plan that is within all applicable laws.
Do You Know The Law?
Commercial drone usage is helping growth in the UK’s property industry. Drones are increasingly being used by estate agents as a cheaper alternative to helicopter hire to capture amazing aerial images. There is no doubt that having a bird’s eye perspective of a property on film or photo creates an emotional response and is certainly driving property sales.
But are the UK’s estate agents aware of the laws when hiring a drone operator? The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has warned that it is aware of cases where estate agents may have broken the law by operating drones without a licence.
By law any drone operator flying for commercial gain must have permission from the CAA. All pilots must have CAA PFCO (Permission for commercial operation) status and hold valid commercial drone insurance. Hiring an illegal drone operator without insurance or CAA permission could result in prosecution and a hefty fine of £5000.
A recent report by YouGov carried out by law firm Charles Russell Speechlys found that almost half of the UK’s estate agents surveyed felt they were not knowledgeable about the UK’s current rules on drone use.
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ESTATE AGENTS PLEASE READ!!
DON'T GET CAUGHT OUT?
Many Estate Agents believe that if they buy and operate their own drone to take aerial photographs to help sell properties think they don’t need licences or permission from the Civil Aviation Authority, because they are not charging anyone for the service?? This would only apply if they were not charging their clients for selling their property? Aerial Videos R US Ltd are not aware of any UK Estate Agent who offers their services to sell a property for free? The specific definition from the CAA regarding whether their permission for aerial work is required ‘is if the drone photographer is operating for financial gain, consideration or remuneration’ – this would include (as in the case of estate agents) if the aerial drone photograph helps sell the house (even if the estate agent did not make a specific charge for that photo) or even if you were filming a shoe factory from the air and they gave you a free pair of shoes as way of thanks
The fines for operating a drone commercially in the UK without Civil Aviation Authority Permission for Aerial Work (CAA PFAW), is a fine of up to £5,000 and confiscation of the drone. This also applies to any company hiring a drone company who do not hold a current CAA PFAW and the necessary insurance. It’s relatively easy to fall foul of the law and face prosecution, as all estate agents post pictures online of the properties for sale, so any image captured illegally is easily spotted. There are many whistle blowers out their trawling the internet and reporting unlicenced drone operators to the authorities.
So for any estate agent going it alone’ and buying their own drone for aerial photography of properties, they will have to secure the agreement of the Civil Aviation Authority and gain obtain appropriate insurance.
This doesn’t just apply to Estate Agents (we choose Estate Agents as we know of a handful who were operating a drone to photograph properties, & are unaware that they were doing so illegally), it applies to any business or individual operating a drone for financial consideration.
This is The LAW