While it is true that anyone can go and buy a drone and start flying it around, this has some significant risks.
A drone flown in unskilled hands has the potential to be very dangerous, use of any drone in any operation that has a commercial aspect to it requires the operator to have a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued PfCO. This is a 'Permit for Commercial Operations' without it ANY use of the footage for a commercial purpose breaks the law in Europe and the UK. In the USA this is known as Part 107 and is issued by the FAA.
A PfCO is essential to arrange insurance, without it the flight and any consequences of the flight or and accidents would not be insured.
PfCO registered pilots have been specially trained to carry out the required checks and create a dedicated risk assessment of any operation utilising drones. This included confirming the airspace requirements, discussing the intend operation with Air Traffic Control or the Police, in order to get permission if the task is close proximity to an airfield.
With this training the PfCO holder has been through an extensive course covering Navigation, Metrology and Air Law. The PfCO applicant will then take written exams and a flight test, with a CAA approved examiner. This confirms that the PfCO has been trained to a high standard. Only then will the CAA issue a PfCO.
All Airborne Camera Pilots are PfCO holders.
All Airborne Camera tasks are fully planned, risk assessed and fully insured by Flock, who are underwritten by Allianz, to a minimum of £1,000,000. If additional insurance is required this will be identified at the planning stage.
In some cases a site visit will be carried out prior to the task to confirm the flight can be safely carried out. This is rare and in anywise, a full review will be undertaken to confirm the initial plan on the day of the job.
Remember - ANY commercial operation involving a drone must be undertaken by a PfCO holder otherwise the flight WILL be illegal & uninsured.
The CAA requires all drone operators to be registered, this includes hobby fliers, a valid CAA Operators ID is required to operate any aircraft over 249grams.
An Operator-ID is not a permission to carry out paid work, it is required in addition to a valid PfCO.
Normal commercial liability insurance does not cover aircraft, including UAV's or losses as a result of their use.