I enjoyed a very special moment recently when I was granted a pilot’s license.
Four days of classroom work and a short test later I was qualified to take to the skies…provided I was piloting an aircraft of less than seven kilograms!
Yes, at 90SecondStory we decided to expand our offering to include aerial filming.
To fly an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone as it is better known, it’s a requirement to have permission from the civil aviation authority and they in turn require any potential company and pilot to complete a PFAW course.
That amounts to four days of ground school and a flight test, submitting an operations manual detailing the uses and precautions when flying, insurance and a final application to the CAA themselves.
Over £2,500, not including the cost of the drone, to take to the skies!
This cost can be hugely restrictive for a small company, especially in an industry where the reported accidents involving drones are in the dozens and where serious or major injuries have been restricted to a single incident.
As with any new technology, safety of the operators as well as that of the public must be a primary concern. However, access to innovative, creative means such as drone technology should be available to all to ensure competition as well as the natural evolution of the industry and expansion of applications.
Safety is paramount, of course. But strangling small, innovative companies which are embracing an exciting new medium will hold back the growth of the sector.
There should be open discussion with the CAA and the training providers to make safety in the skies affordable for all.
Hopefully we will see a host of creative companies finding new ways in which we can view and measure the world.