Image courtesy of Pixabay
I have been advised, by several different people, to research the current laws and regulations surrounding the use of drones, as well as the proposed changes that are due to be enforceable from spring 2018. Reading up no legislation is boring, but before I go and invest in a drone I need to make sure I can (legally and ethically) use it in the way I want to before potentially wasting my money.
Laws, rules and regulations surrounding the use of drones is available on the CAA website, and most of them are common sense. Well, they are common sense to me and I can use a drone and get the type of footage I want by abiding by the rules.
Most of the rules focus on using drones around people and built up areas, which won’t affect me. I have little interest in taking footage of people. Sure, I may do some recording of close friends and family members, but I will not be capturing footage of “joe public” going about their daily business. I wouldn’t want people recording me living my daily life as it is an invasion of privacy, therefore I would not record others going about theirs either. As for built up areas, sure there are some scenes I can think of that would be good to record, but then I am more than happy not to get them to stay the right side of the rules and regulations.
Whilst I will abide by the rules and regulations it appears there are many drone users out there with different opinions and ethical standards than mine. These individuals have flouted the rules and regulations, used their drones in a way for things they should not have done and there is now a general consensus these rules don’t go far enough to protect people, buildings etc.
The proposed laws are stringent and include things like:-
I have no problem in registering any drone I buy. In fact I think a drone register is a good thing, and will encourage drone owners to be more responsible and abide by the rules and regulations. A central drone register may even help drone owners recover their drones in an event of a fly away.
The competency and safety tests are a little more concerning. A simple test demonstrating knowledge of the laws and regulations is fine, but what about if all drone owners have to attend an external course? All the external courses I go on (and I have to go on several each year for my job) are damn expensive and I think an external drone course will also be expensive. The extent of the testing has not yet been published and is up in the air.
Whilst looking at the CAA rules I noticed that if you want to use a drone for commercial purposes you need to get permission from the CAA. I intend on sharing my drone footage on my Youtube channel, which is currently in the process of being approved for monetisation. If my Youtube channel is monetised and starts showing adds any videos I capture with a drone are commercial, for which I need permission from the CAA. I don’t know what I need to do to get permission from the CAA, and indeed if it is actually possible for me to qualify for permission in the first instance. The other issue is how much is getting permission going to cost? I don’t want to spend loads of money to get permission when the video gets zero views and doesn’t make anything.
The laws and regulations surrounding drone use, and the proposed changes, does bother me somewhat and whilst I know are many people out there who won’t give them a second thought, and don’t care whether they abide by them or not I am not one of them. I have always been the person who gets caught when they do something wrong. Growing up if I did anything bad I always got caught and punished for my actions, and this has been the case throughout my entire life. I know that if I do anything wrong with a drone and don’t have the permissions I will be the one person in that million that gets caught out. Before deciding on whether to invest in a drone I am going to have to do a bit more digging in to the rules and regulations and seek clarification from the CAA.
Drone and aerial photography video playlist that may be of interest