Why is drone training even an option


Tim Bearder TV-Bay Magazine
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It's fair to say that one of the most disruptive, liberating and inventive technological advances for independent filmmakers in recent years has been the incredible leaps made in the world of Drones.

Things we never thought possible are now completely within our reach and what is more they are easy and cheap to achieve. An operator can majestically soar over the tallest buildings with a tiny little device controlled from an iPhone. It's insane.

And that's the problem.

DJI's new Inspire 2 is an incredible machine. It can travel up to 58mph and, fully loaded, weigh as much as 4kg! Imagine that smacking into a picnic party in your local park.

The considerably smaller Mavic can still whizz around at speeds over 20mph and both bits of kit can do it all at a distance of over 4 miles from the operator - who might be a 13-year-old boy wearing virtual reality goggles!

Despite geo-fencing and the continuing development of object avoidance technology these toys clearly have the potential to be dangerous weapons and that is why the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has clear rules and regulations to prevent accidents from occurring.

The CAA' free Drone Assist App, which has been produced in conjunction with the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) is an extremely beneficial learning aid for any novice drone operator and their Drone Code is also a must for safe operation.

For commercial operators the CAA have introduced an accreditation scheme for obtaining official permission to undertake aerial work.

I've completed this course myself with the simply brilliant Aerial Motion Pictures (https://www.aerialmotionpictures.co.uk) who I can't recommend highly enough.

You'll get the very best advice from a company that have flown drones for James Bond!

So what is there to complain about? The machines are incredible and continually improving and the rules and regulations are set. Competent trainers and excellent apps are there to dispense valuable advice.

The concern is that the balance is wrong. Not enough is being done to get the 'training' message through to the general public when they buy a drone whilst meanwhile the bureaucracy professionals face just to get their activities approved is stultifying.

Teenagers are picking up drones for 500GBP from Maplins, with no guidance on where, when and how to fly them safely while accredited professionals are waiting up to six months to have one off commercial requests approved.

Clearly this is a rapidly changing and incredibly exciting field but the government, and by extension their appointed representative organisations, must invest in and reward best industry practice so that professionals can provide a viable alternative to the unlicensed and unregulated amateur army that is quickly emerging. If not clients will turn to cowboys, in most cases unknowingly, and accidents will happen.


Tags: iss124 | caa | drone | drone training | drone academy | Tim Bearder
Contributing Author Tim Bearder

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