Using a Drone at your Event Venue

As drones become more common in our everyday lives, they are also becoming more of a standard feature of wedding days and special events.  A big part of planning any event has always been the selection of the perfect venue to provide the backdrop.

Event coverage by DroneCam Solutions Ltd
picture supplied by DSR member DroneCam Soltuons Ltd –

A great deal of time and expense is invested by hotel management teams in making sure that their destination looks perfect from every angle and they are increasingly receiving requests that drones be able to capture events and add to the memories of the day.

Drones and the Law

It still surprises us here at DSR HQ that some venues don’t understand the law as regards to hiring drone pilots and the requirements for safe and legal flight. Here’s a quick summery as it applies to drones in the hospitality industry.

  • To fly commercially in the UK, pilots require a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) which is granted by the CAA, which stipulates the requirement for valid insurance.
  • Drones can’t be flown within 50 metres of a person, property, vessel or structure that isn’t under the pilot’s control. This distance reduces to 30 metres during the take-off and landing phase of the flight.
  • If your venue is hosting a gathering or event where more than 1000 people are present, then a drone cannot be flown within 150 metres (50 metres for take-off and landing).
  • Being under the pilot’s control means that people are fully aware of the flight and have been briefed so they can reasonably be expected to follow instructions and safety procedures.
  • Drone flights are weather dependent. Drones cannot fly in rain or high winds although your pilot will watch the weather and be able to advise you accordingly.

Drones and Privacy

In terms of privacy, it can reasonably be assumed that guests at an event, having been briefed on plans, have no objection to being filmed. The problem could arise however, if other guests are at the venue but not part of the event as they have a right not to be filmed or photographed.

Here, you have three options

  1. Explain to anyone affected and get consent to them being filmed (even if it is only as ‘collateral damage’ on the outskirts or background of the shot)
  2. Offer them a non-filming area to move to
  3. Arrange the filming location and direction to only include the event guests.

Drone Policy – DSR Can Help

More and more hotels and resorts are introducing a drone policy to regulate aerial filming and ensure that everyone can equally enjoy their stay, and we at DSR would totally recommend that you do, we can also help you write one!  Many are choosing to ban recreational drone use as there are some obvious dangers to allow any time flights around a resort.  However, drone footage and images can be a real asset to an even (and indeed to a hotel’s marketing) and so we would always recommend that professional drone pilots be allowed to film by arrangement where a venue can practically permit it.  We would recommend as a venue owner that you contact two or three local DSR drone pilots and work with them as preferred suppliers so you know that they are fully aware of your venue requirements and restrictions and you equally are assured that the pilots and work is legal, safe and insured.

A professional drone pilot will always follow the legal requirements and carry out a full risk assessment before each flight as that is what they are trained to do. They will be skilled in providing high quality event coverage as well as working sensitively within their environment.

All Drone Safe Register pilots are vetted to be working safely and legally as well as being some of the top operators in the UK and Ireland.

If you would like advise on producing an Event Venue Drone Policy, they types of checks it should stipulate and the items to include, please get in touch and we would be happy to help you.

Drone Pilots for Hire


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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Harrison Green