A commercial UAV pilot is a term sometimes used to refer to a professional drone operator. UAV stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, more commonly called a drone. To carry out work for payment or reward with a drone, a pilot must have approval from the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK.
If you are looking to hire a commercial UAV pilot, there are some important legal requirements that you should be aware of. Hiring an illegal pilot can land you in serious trouble, and drone laws in the UK are tightening as the use of UAV’s increases.
There are examples of people risking illegal drone hire every day, and it’s really not worth it. It may save you money in the short term, but if anything goes wrong it could be a very expensive mistake. For a business hiring a drone pilot, using a rogue operator could seriously damage a long-standing reputation.
The risk of hiring an illegal drone operator can be compared to hiring a gas fitter who isn’t Corgi registered. One silly mistake could have disastrous consequences. In addition, a person who flies for fun and wants to make some cash with a drone is unlikely to produce the same quality as a professional. If you want something like aerial photographs of a hotel for marketing purposes, would you be happy with poor quality, over-exposed results?
To become a CAA approved commercial UAV pilot, an operator has to study the subject and pass an exam. He must demonstrate good working knowledge of the specific drone he flies, how to assess and mitigate risk and how to fly within the law. Before taking off, an approved commercial UAV pilot will survey the area and take steps to ensure the safety of people and property. He will also have insurance in place in the rare event that something unexpected happens.