Let's set the record straight... DRONE LAW!

We always get told by producers that they discounted using a drone on shoots because they just weren't sure about the rules. I understand why! There's a lot of confusion when it comes to the law, some people have more lenient permissions than others, weight of drone varies the rules and location... it's a minefield but all the more reason to hire a team that know what they are doing!

The key point before you continue reading... if you're not sure just ask us! All we need to know is a location and a brief description of what you're looking to achieve. So... let's begin.

THE BASICS

SMALL CAMERAS
If you're using a small drone like a DJI Inspire or anything under 7kg then the basic rules are as follows :

  • The operator has to stay 50 metres away from people, vehicles, structures etc that aren't associated with the production. That's the most important!
  • Everyone has a maximum distance limit of 500 metres away and 120 metres high!
  • We must have land owner permission to take off.

BIG CAMERAS
If you're using a big drone there are a couple of differences! This might be anything carrying a bigger camera like a RED Epic or Arri Alexa mini. This applies to anything over 7kg and is split into 2 main categories

1) CONGESTED AREA

  • A congested area would be counted as a town or village or just anywhere that's 'busy' (slightly vague I know!)
  • The drone must be 150 metres away from people, vehicles, structures etc that aren't associated with the production.
  • Everyone has a maximum distance limit of 500 metres away and 120 metres high!
  • We must have land owner permission to take off.

2) NON CONGESTED AREA

  • None congested areas are basically places that aren't busy with people. Maybe a closed race circuit or beautiful cliff face..
  • In this instance the 50 metre rule applies. We just have to be 50 metres away from people, vehicles structures etc.
  • The same 500 metre and 120 metre height and distance rules apply
  • As always, we need landowner permission.

THE NOT SO BASICS

ENHANCED PERMISSIONS
This is where it starts to get a little more complicated. In some instances, you may wish to be closer than the rules stipulated above. Well.... it's not impossible but will be dependant on location.
Some of our pilots have what the industry calls an 'OSC' it stands for Operational Safety Case... sounds fancy and it is!
This special permission which is only really to be used when absolutely necessary means we can fly small drones down to 20 metres from people. To fly a bigger drone we can reduce our distance down to 30 metres from both congested and non congested - with the OSC there is no differentiation between them.

OPERATING ABROAD
By now, you probably know that we have some pretty good operating permissions abroad. Now this is something that completely varies on the operator. We have current permissions or have flown in the following countries:
UK
FRANCE
ITALY
CROATIA
GERMANY
CYPRUS
SWITZERLAND
TURKEY
and MONACO
But we don't want to stop there. We are completely happy to delve into the rules and see where we can operate next. No challenge is too big!

Well, hopefully that clears up a few rumours but if you're unsure, JUST ASK! We'd always be happy to check out any location to see if it's feasible to fly a drone. We can normally find a solution and with good time, planning and budget anything is possible. 

If you do have any questions, feel free to call the office on 0114 2994333 or email hello@fleye.co.uk

And to finish off, here's a few pictures from our adventures abroad...

Will