It's important if you're going to hire a drone operator that he or she, or the business that they represent are properly insured and qualified. I know this, and hopefully those who hire drone operators to carry out any work for them, know this as well.
How you go about finding a legitimate drone operator is more of a quandary. There are now a number of drone registers appearing who will put the customer in contact of a legally qualified operator. Regardless of the size of the work or the location in the UK, these drone registers will point you in the direction, or let you search on their website for a local drone operator to you.
For those of us running a one man show; who look after the site survey, risk assessments, video capture, flight, equipment, video edit, final production and delivery, who can keep the cost low for clients, this is a considerable additional expense, especially if we decide to register with more than one.
But how do small businesses get found if not via the multitude of drone registers?
Well, I'm hoping word of mouth and reputation, based on previous projects that are evidenced online, oh, and ability! I appreciate that this is perhaps naive, but I begrudge paying even more than I've already paid out, to appear on a list of approved operators: when one already exists.
It's called CAP 1361 and it's published by the CAA. It's a list of all of the drone operators in the UK who have already paid up to £900 for training and assessment, £400 for insurance and £130 for their Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) certificate from the CAA. Two of these considerable costs reoccur every year.
It's been a tough first year for Rough Cuts in terms of Drone work. Most of the business income has been from other video and support work. This year it's unlikely we'll recoup or make a profit on the Drone arm of the business. But next year, thanks to a new partnership, it's likely we'll recoup and start making profit perhaps 2-3 months in. But if I was to start with the registers, although more work might come in, it would take significantly longer.
So to my point, if you're in need of a drone operator and you want to keep costs low, and support local business my advice would be to use google maps to check for local drone operators and ensure that they have PFCO, in order to save time, just check to see if the drone operator is on CAP1361.
Here you are, here's a link -
We're under Rough Cuts!
We're under Rough Cuts!