If you are considering hiring a company that undertakes both stills and HD video aerial imaging through the use of UAVs/Drones for your business needs, it is VERY IMPORTANT that they ARE CERTIFIED to do so. Only Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved entities are safe, qualified and permitted to undertake aerial imaging work in UK airspace.
To operate and deliver aerial imaging services using unmanned aerial vehicles, the operator/company needs to have what's known as a "Permission for Aerial Work" (PFAW) from the CAA which is a LEGAL requirement to possess when operating UAVs/Drones on a commercial basis in the UK. Those that are NOT CERTIFIED yet have declared to clients they are "operating" commercially can POTENTIALLY BE PROSECUTED. Those who employ the services of non-qualified providers could also be liable for prosecution.
In order to obtain PFAW, this is achieved by several staged processes. Initially this is by undertaking appropriate theory and practical training from a CAA-recognised National Qualified Entity provider of training (Ground School); secondly, have been flight assessed on whatever platform(s) the operator/company intends to use to deliver their services; thirdly, compile key documentation (Operations Manual) before having it submitted to the CAA when complete. Finally, and upon approval from the CAA and once the operator/company has received their PFAW, they are then permitted to operate UAVs/Drones on a commercial basis.
Legitimate UAV/Drone aerial imaging operators and companies will always have a PFAW and should present evidence of this, accompanied with other key and pertinent documentation, upon request from the client.
More info, including the list of current and certified UAV operators and companies in the UK, can be found at the following link:
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Multi-Rotor Aerial Imaging Solutions and Consultancy