How much do you charge?
We do not advertise prices on our website as each and every job is different so do contact us for a no obligation quote:
1. Complete our contact form (at bottom of page) with as much information as you can. The more information you can provide the better!
2. We will get back to you to find out more about the job, and create an individual quote once we have understood exactly what you are after, where and when.
3. Once this is agreed we would issue and invoice and take a deposit to secure the booking, typically 25%, then provisionally book in a date – weather dependent, to carry out the work, and often organise a visit to the site for a recce before the aerial work took place, and then progress with the planning side of things.
4. We would then be in regular contact a week before the planned date, keeping a close eye on the weather to see if the job can proceed then, or if it would need to be rescheduled, and make a final call a day or two before the planned date as to whether it would go ahead, as well as at the time of the aerial work once on location. An on site risk assessment would follow before the work could proceed and only once we were satisfied it were safe to carry out the planned work with any neccessary mitigations in place and conditions allow.
5. After after the job is completed (including any data processing) and typically the full balance paid we would provide the outputs as previously agreed, which could include on high speed USB media, CD/DVD/Bluray, online (cloud storage), or even printed (photo/canvas/3D Printing).
What about the weather?
We can fly in moderate wind, generally the stiller the air the more stable and smoother the flight (important for video). Our aircraft can fly in light mist, and colder conditions with snow and ice (up to -10 degrees) but not in the rain. Some of our aircraft even have self heating batteries which really helps prepare for flight in cold conditions!
As weather is such an important factor in flying and safety, we review information from a variety of different sources to assess whether the planned flights can go ahead, in advance and at the time of each flight and monitor conditions during, in case we need to bring the aircraft safely down and back to land, for example if it started to rain or became too windy during flight.
What is a Drone?
A Drone or a UAV is an unmanned aircraft, which could be a multirotor such as a Quadcopter (4 rotors), Hexcopter (6 rotors), Octocopter (8 rotors), a fixed wing model aircraft etc.
Typically these aircraft have a FPV (First Person View) camera, a memory card for storage, a flight controller, GPS (could be multiple), ESC’s (electronic speed controllers) and motors (often brushless), propellers, a downlink to a monitor or goggles, live telemetry (showing aircraft data such as location, speed, height, battery status), and using a remote controller – often a mobile phone/tablet is used with many of the consumer drones readily available now.
Where can you fly as a PfCO Holder?
We have a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) granted by the CAA to fly day and night, within the limitations and procedures as specified in our Operations Manual, as granted by the CAA and ANO, of our aircraft, the task and conditions allow.
Our CAA granted PfCO permissions allow flight of our aircraft:
1. Up to 500m away from the remote pilot – whilst maintaining VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) at all times.
2. Up to 400ft/120m high (above the surface).
3. 50m (or further) away from buildings/structures/persons not under our control – we can fly closer if they are. This is reduced to 30m during take-off and landing.
4. In and above congested areas.
5. 150m away from organised open-air assemblies of 1000 or more people.
6. Flying at night as well as in the day.
We always carry out rigorous planning before any aerial work in advance and once on site, performing a risk assessment, checking the weather before and during flights, aircraft maintenance status and condition before, during and after flight, NOTAMS and any necessary permissions or notifications have been made, the wellbeing of the pilot, observers and any other associated persons, and an awareness of the surroundings, other air and ground users etc. as per our operating procedures and conditions at the time dictate. Our DJI drones also have a Geo safety system which restricts where they can be flown, much of which can be unlocked with suitable authority, such as from NATS, or self-unlocked. We can also apply geofencing to restrict where we can fly during operations, if required, and have a parachute safety system which can be used with some of our aircraft.
As of 13th March 2019 the CAA have introduced new restrictions around airports (protected aerodromes) which are much larger restricted areas than previously. An interactive map has been added below (from https://dronesafe.uk/restrictions/) showing these new areas – note this does not show other areas which may be restricted or disallowed.
As of 30th November 2019 the CAA introduced registration scheme for drones between 250g and 25kg – see below section “What about drone registration in the UK” and links for further information.
What about drone registration in the UK?
As of 30th November in the UK it became law to register with the CAA for:
Recreational/Hobbyist: Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg must take and pass an online education package and pay a £9 fee. This is renewable every three years.
Commercial Operators (PfCO’s): Anyone responsible for a drone vor unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg needs to register as an operator, pay the £9 fee and renew annually.
A CAA registration excemption is currently in place for members of ARPAS, BMFA, fpvuk.org, largemodelassociation.com and saaweb.uk who intend to register their members in Q1 2020. We have registerd ourselves as both an Operator and for Recreational Flying (so have both an operator ID and pilot ID’s).
Some hobbysts mistakingly think that they can carry out commercial work as they have registered with the CAA, passed an online test and paid a registration fee, however this is not true, a PfCO is still required at the present time – though this will change in the future with the EASA regulations for some aerial work – see below.
The new European drone rules (EASA regulations) were due to come into force in July 2020 (currently delayed until December 31st 2020 due to Covid-19) which will significantly change how both commercial and non commercial remote pilots can fly and operate as well as the aircraft which can be flown in specific scenarios (many of which will be based on risk and aircraft categorisation, some of which is still being decided) see https://www.easa.europa.eu/easa-and-you/civil-drones-rpas
See further information on the UK Drone Registration on the official CAA site here https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/Our-role/Drone-and-model-aircraft-registration/
Who can fly a drone?
In the UK Commercial Operators holding a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) granted by the CAA who have undergone training, certification, have relevant relevant insurance (we have £5 million public liability, which is extendable), proven documented operating procedures and have registered with the CAA as an Operator (as of 30th November 2019) are legally allowed to fly a drone (or fixed wing if certified for) for Commercial Gain and to charge and/or benefit from commercial aerial work. For example supplying images and/or video for a corporate website or online publication, aerial photos and/or video for an estate agent or individual, posting aerial material adversiting your services online. There is further guidance on rules and definitions on the CAA website, don’t trust what you read on the many Facebook and other online forums, speak to the CAA for a definitive and official response after first consulting their website.
Hobbyists on the other hand, can also fly drones (and other model aircraft), as long as they abide by the DroneCode (and ANO) in the UK and have registered with the CAA and passed the simple online test (unless exempt from), however can not capture data for commercial gain i.e. in return for remuneration or other valuable consideration. There is no current requirement for any practical test or or insurance (though highly reccommended through BFMA or other entities).
However – The new European (EASA) drone regulations which are currently due to come into effect 31st December 2020 will significantly change how commercial work can be carried out as well as recreational flying and introduces a GVC (to replace the existing PfCO) and A2 CofC to be able to operate commercially in some specific scenarios, with specific aircraft. The finer details are in process of being agreed at the current time including some of the new aircraft CE requirements.
If the CAA regulations are broken, the remote pilot could be prosecuted, as well as any client if a non PfCO were used for commerial operations, for example by an estate agent, a printed or online publication, a corporate, event or wedding photographer or videoographer.
See the official DroneSafe DroneCode site here for guidance in the UK https://dronesafe.uk/drone-code/
The CAA maintain a list of Drone Operators holding a PfCO on their website here https://www.caa.co.uk/CAP136
Does the Covid-19 pandemic stop us operating?
Not neccessarily. However we would only carry out ground and air based work if we are satisfied that our crew can operate safely, maintaining appropriate social distancing, wear the appropriate PPE (and if be effective) and we and any other persons are not be exposed to additional risks which can not be mitigated against. As part of our rigerous risk assessment process we would takle additional steps to speak to you to understand how we and you the client can operate as safely as possible whilst on site (prior to visting site and persons), or if this is simply not possible for the activities at the present time.
Make sure you abide by the Drone code at all times (when flying in the UK) and any local regulations if elswhere – details below from the Drone Safe website (October 2019 update), click the picture for link to the website:
Find out more about of our aircraft capabilities from some official DJI videos below and the DJI Website here: