You haven’t read that wrong! I (Luis) am now a permitted drone operator!
Drones have made the news headlines recently and for all the wrong reasons. I have always had a fascination with video and video creation as well as photography, which was intensified when I started cycling and has grown ever since. Using action cameras provided an angle which wasn’t so familiar to most people. Once I started using these and my phone to record video, I decided I wanted a better camera to be able to capture more. I didn’t think it would lead me to a drone, but it was definitely something that suited me; both a gadget and a camera.
There are lots of different types of drones, some have detachable payloads and cameras, some are immensely intuitive within their operation and functionality whilst some are basically toys and not practical for much other than playing around with. All of these different types of drone are reflected by their price, from £20 right through to £18,000 and then some. There are plenty to choose from.
My first drone has a lot of features. It can shoot 4k video (which is pretty much today’s HD), it can follow and track a subject on its own and it can sense when it approaches something too close and can avoid the obstacle. These are amongst many other clever features including shooting hi-res photos. It can also pack itself up small enough that I can carry it with me whilst I ride my bike; a big plus for me!
What is a drone license?
But, did you know, in order to operate a drone and produce footage and imagery for commercial use, you need a license? Well, not so much a license but a “permission”. Having got the drone and learned how to use it, creating short videos and taking pictures, I found out you need to be able to do this officially in order to monetise it. You can have a drone for personal use, but if you want to sell what you create, you need the permission. It’s not a big deal and not even really a surprise, but your average Joe can buy a drone and share the same airspace as a commercial helicopter or plane pilot, so when you think about it like that, it makes total sense that you should obtain a qualification attached to a governing body.
There’s a mass of rules and regulations that need to be adhered to with safety being the top priority of both the user and anyone near to the drone. Acquiring the PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) is similar to completing a driving test, there’s a load of learning with both a theory exam and a practical exam with manoeuvres. On top of this, there’s a declaration of the processes that will be taken by the end user (in this case, me, Luis).
So with all that said, I’m pretty pleased that just over a year on from realising I wanted a drone, to getting a drone; I am now a PfCO permitted drone pilot which is recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Social Progress and I can now help you to further enhance the presence of your business. If you want aerial pictures or videos of your business, there’s no better time to make it work for you than now. Whether you’re in construction, manufacturing, sports or even an office, using drone footage and imagery coupled with traditional video and pictures could really help your business to stand out from the rest. You can find out more about what we offer here.