With all the negative press drones have had in recent months, people are starting to realise the inherent dangers that come with flying these fun little gadgets.
Do you need a license to fly a drone?
In the UK, it's not neccessary to have a license to fly a drone. However, if you are flying for business purposes i.e. using it to make money somehow, you are required to have a commercial drone license.
A Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is obtained by doing a course and passing a practical and a theory exam. The theory side covers essential safety aspects involved with flying a small unmanned aircraft (SUA) in various types of airspace. The practical exam proves that you have demonstrated safe and controlled flight skills. You must also show proof of commercial drone insurance, which covers public liablty should anything go wrong.
If you just want to play with your new toy, fill your boots. Just remeber to use your noggin:
- DO make sure you know the latest rules
- DO be mindful of your own and other peoples safety
- DON'T fly near stuff (trees, powerlines, Heathrow Airport etc.)
- DON'T fly over private property (they won't appretiate that)
If you're considering using a drone for business purposes, you can either get a PfCO and have a go yourself or you could hire a professional. If you hire someone, make sure they have the neccessary qualifications, permissions and insurance in place to carry out a safe flight.
UK Drone Legislation (03/19): https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft-and-drones/