To fly commercially in the UK you require a PfCO license. If you employ the servivces of a drone and that pilot is rewarded financially or otherwise, the pilot must have a PfCO license and valid insurance – otherwise you’re both breaking the law. It could even result in a prison sentence.
It amazes me the number of unlicensed pilots being employed today to capture images, videos etc that do not have a PfCO license from the CAA. I hear the words “yes my mate has a drone. He sometimes throws it up in the air to get some shots for me.” Over your construction site/House/City Centre location?
A PfCO license allows a drone operator to fly a small, unmanned aircraft under 20KG for commercial projects and it allows the remote pilot to fly within conjested areas. Without a permission, a remote pilot is not permitted to operate their drone within 150 metres of an area predominantly used for residential, recreational, industrial or commercial purposes. In other words without a PfCO a remote pilot cannot fly within most towns, villages, industrial areas, playparks, near airports or dwellings. Due to the maximum ceiling permitted, (120 metres) an unlicensed pilot is not permitted to fly over any conjested area. Doing so is both hazardous to life and illegal as per the air navigation order 2016.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the drone for imaging or as part of a wider area of work for a client or company, you still require a license. UK permissions are granted through taking part in a CAA approved drone training course from a CAA approved training company. Thereafter the drone pilot must complete a practical and theory test before they can acquire the license.
Would you employ a driver in your company without a drivers license? It’s no different with a drone pilot. If you want someone to fly a 2KG object in the sky you better be sure they are legal and know what they are doing.
Drone Scotland obtained our PfCO license back in 2015. We take health and safety seriously.
A full list of up-to-date licensed pilots can be obtained from the CAA website link below.