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How close can we fly our drone

27 February 2020
aerial camera systems, aerial filming, drone filming, tracking vehicles

How close can we fly our drones to people, structures and vessels?

Here at Aerial Camera Systems (ACS) we’re often asked how close we can fly to people, structures and vessels and thought it would be best to explain this in a short blog.

As drone pilots with enhanced Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permissions for commercial operations we’re legally permitted to operate in congested areas. A congested area means, ‘in relation to a city, town or settlement, any area which is substantially used for residential, commercial, industrial or recreational purposes’. Hobbyists are not legally permitted to fly within 150m of these areas.  

In addition to the Civil Aviation Authority giving us permissions to fly in congested areas we can also fly as close to a person, structure or vessel as we deem safe providing they are under our control. By being under our control it means they can reasonably be expected to follow our directions. Without the person, structure or vessel being under our control with our in house permissions we can fly at 30m distance during take off/landing and 50m during flight. It’s slightly different when it comes to organised events of over 1000 people. 

Commercial operators need to stay at a distance of 150m at all times. In rare cases we may be requested to fly closer to people, structures and vessels that are not under our control. We avoid the need for this by using longer lenses as there’s less risk involved when at a greater distance.

When required our drone pilots have permissions to fly at 10m distances during take off and landing and 30m during flight from people, structures and vessels that are not under their control. These pilots have what is called an operational safety case which has been approved by The Civil Aviation Authority. In addition to this they are permitted to fly as close as 100m to organised events of over 1000 people.

Alternatives to Inspire 2 Drone

Whilst the Inspire 2 drone is a great addition to our inventory, it doesn’t suit all filming projects. For close up action we are also able to offer clients cameras on rails and wires or tracking vehicles. From flown railcams and vertical tracks to high speed camera tracking systems our tracking systems are second to none, providing the ideal solution for filming dynamic moving shots which captivate and excite the viewing audience.

The ACS inventory includes a range of tracking vehicles including a fleet of 4x4, KartCAM and BoatCAM.

For the award winning team at Aerial Camera Systems (ACS) it’s all about safety, problem solving and delivering a high quality service. To find out how we can enhance your next filming project, please visit our website or get in touch.