By Noelle Graf
This article originally appeared on May 30, 2018, but was updated on Oct. 20, 2020, to reflect the most recent information and laws related to commercial drone operation.
It seems these days drone operators are everywhere, but did you know that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has strict rules and regulations when it comes to flying a drone, especially for non-recreational and commercial purposes? Two of the most basic rules are no flying above 400 feet and no flying in controlled airspace, but not everyone is aware of these facts. While it may be easy to ask your buddy with a drone to shoot your aerial footage, most recreational drone operators don’t know all the rules – and the rules matter.
If you’re flying for any reason other than hobby flying, you need a commercial license.
On August 29, 2016, the FAA released new regulations (Part 107) regarding the commercial use of drones in U.S. airspace. To stay compliant with these regulations, FORTHGEAR’s drone pilot is professionally certified and fully insured, as well as being a professional videographer and photographer. Sam Platt recently earned his Remote Pilot Certificate, granting him the authority to fly a drone for commercial purposes.
Why is this important?
There are many reasons why it’s important to use a licensed drone pilot for your commercial videography and photography. Here are five reasons why:
1. FAA compliance
When you hire a commercial drone pilot, they have a responsibility to follow the rules – regulations that were put in place by the FAA for the purpose of keeping air space safe for everyone. A licensed drone pilot will know where, when and how high they can fly. They’ll know how to get permission to fly in different classes of air space. Most recreational drone operators don’t even realize they’re flying in controlled airspace, as most of northern Utah is – and there are strict penalties in place for those that break the rules.
It’s one thing to put a drone in the air. It’s another thing to do it safely. Licensed drone pilots spend hours learning FAA regulations – rules that were put in place to keep both people and air space safe. They know how weather, wind speed and other conditions can affect flights. A licensed drone pilot makes safety a priority.
3. Liability insurance
Carrying drone insurance is a smart move where businesses are concerned. It shows that a pilot is professional and credible, despite the fact that the law does not currently require commercial drone operators to carry insurance. If you hire an uninsured or amateur drone operator, you’re putting yourself at risk, as homeowner’s insurance does not cover drone use for recreational operators.
When hiring a licensed drone pilot, it’s important to factor in the level of experience that can be provided. In our case, Sam is not just a guy with a drone; he’s a highly experienced and talented professional photographer and videographer. Delivering high-quality aerial footage is FORTHGEAR’s priority, because our reputation is on the line and your project truly matters.
5. Above and beyond
Planning a flight involves more than just takeoff. In addition to logistics like determining the class of air space and requesting permission from the FAA, there is a creative aspect to every photography and videography project. When FORTHGEAR shoots your drone project, the entire scope of the project is factored in so you end up with aerial footage you love.
Get ready to take your marketing to new heights. Schedule a drone consultation with FORTHGEAR today.