5 Legal Issues to be Aware of with Drones

February 7, 2017

Legal Issues With Drones

Drone videography is now very popular, and anyone can easily get their hands on a drone nowadays – you can even buy them from Argos!

We love flying our drone. We use the DJI Phantom 4 to capture breath-taking aerial footage for our videos, but there’s no surprise the small, remote controlled aircrafts come with a few legal issues.

Drone videography is simply stunning but it wasn’t going to be long before rules and regulations came into practice. There have been several high profile ‘near-misses’ – such as in November 2016 when a passenger plane approaching Heathrow Airport narrowly avoided colliding with a drone.

If you’re using a drone just for fun rather than commercially, there are still regulations to be followed. It’s important that you keep up with the rules, especially since all drone users in the UK face having to complete a safety test in newly proposed safety measures.

Take a look at this stunning hotel video we produced using our drone:

What you need to know about drones:

5 Legal Issues to be aware of with drones & drone videography

1. Don’t lose sight

The drone must be flown within the line of sight of the pilot or a ‘spotter’ who has radio contact with the pilot. The distance is 500m horizontally and 400m vertically.

2. Don’t get too close

You can’t fly a drone within 50m of a person, except the pilot during take off and landing (don’t invade their private space). The same goes for vehicles, buildings or structures – stay 50m away from these too.

3. Stay away from congested areas

Don’t even think about taking your drone to the next football game, you mustn’t fly a drone within 150m of an organised, open air assembly or areas such as town centres.

4. Keep away from airports

You definitely shouldn’t be flying your remote controlled aircraft near any airports unannounced. You must keep 5 miles away! If you’re planning on flying anywhere near an airport, make sure you tell the Air Traffic Control beforehand.

5. Do you need a license?

You may need a license to fly your drone if you’re using it commercially. If you’re exchanging money for any of the services from using the drone, whether it be aerial shots for photography or drone video, the pilot must be qualified and authorised by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Gaining authorisation from the CAA is a bit like taking a driving test – it includes a rigorous aviation theory test and passing a practical flight assessment.

Drones can also be extremely expensive and it’s inevitable you’d want to take insurance out for it. However you can’t insure a drone unless you hold a license.

Whether you’re flying a drone commercially or just for fun, it’s important to always respect people’s privacy so don’t go flying it in anyone’s back garden. Also, if you’re using the drone for photography or videography, you must gain the person’s permission to be filmed.

We hope you found this blog post about the legal issues with drones useful, you might find How to Upload a Video to Facebook useful too.

You can watch the videos we produced with our drone in our portfolio.

If you have any comments or questions about drones and drone videography, feel free to leave them in the comments section or via the Contact Us page.

Written by Neil Ginger

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