Drone Safety and Regulations

Don’t put your business at risk just to get a shot of the roof. Hire a licensed professional.

Drones are everywhere these days, making some wonder why they would ever consider hiring a professional for their drone video or photography project. The short answer is that there are myriad FAA regulations pertaining to the use of drones, and when a drone is used for any commercial purpose at all the operator puts himself and his business at significant risk if proper procedures are not strictly followed—including proper licensing, insurance and formal FAA authorization when needed.

Patrick Barlow and his drone crews are FAA Part 107 licensed and fully insured. Each drone is registered with the FAA, and we do things the right way on every shoot—including obtaining FAA airspace clearances and waivers where needed.

For instance, did you know that most airports are surrounded by controlled airspace which requires a formal FAA authorization to fly a drone nearby? In most instances outside the immediate vicinity of an airport, however, the flight applications we use provide near instantaneous FAA approvals to shoot.

It’s also illegal to fly in poor weather including rain, fog, heavy clouds, high winds and more. Violate these rules and your business could be held liable for accidental damage or injury.

For drone shoots up to 30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset it is imperative to secure an FAA waiver. These applications take time—days, typically—and anti-collision lighting must be installed on the drone.

The FAA also limits drone altitude to a maximum of 400 feet above the ground, depending on the location. Flying above 400′ requires—you guessed it—an FAA waiver.

Prior to each flight, an FAA licensed drone operator will check the location in order to determine the type of air space and if it’s legal to fly there. If an address is provided, this can typically be determined ahead of time.

If your project requires aerial photography or video, or if you’d like to learn more about our drone production services, we hope you’ll get in touch.