Drone Photography Regulations – Four Things You Should Know
Drone photography makes it possible to capture amazing, panoramic aerial views of events. A well-positioned drone can take stunning images from 360-degree angles, bringing an entire event together in the capture. But with the rise in popularity of drone photography and videography, it’s surprising to learn that not many people are aware of the drone photography regulations, and they don’t seem to be enforced.
Before you book drone photography for your occasion, here are four things you need to know and things you should check with your professional videographer or photographer:
1. Drone Pilots Need A Drone Pilot’s Licence To Shoot Events
In order to use drones to capture gorgeous aerial shots of your event, your drone pilot needs to have an official drone pilot’s licence. This ensures that drone operators use the equipment responsibly without any risk of injury to all present. Only a handful of photographers have licences for doing drone photography shoots nationwide, so make sure you use a licenced photographer.
2. Camera Drones Need To Stay At Safe Distances
A professional drone photographer will know what distance to keep a camera drone from event-goers. Drones cannot fly too close to people because if there is a fault with the drone and it cuts out, it could cause injury. The national regulations specify that drones must stay at least 50 metres away from individuals and crowds during operation.
3. There Are No-go Areas For Drones
A camera drone can’t fly near airports and military institutions for security reasons. New South African laws were signed into effect on 1st of July 2015 regulating where drones may and may not fly. In addition to airports and military institutions, drones cannot be flown adjacent to or above a court of law, police station, prison or nuclear power plant. Drones also may not be flown more than 120 metres above the ground. This shouldn’t affect your event photography, since you can still capture amazing panorama’s from below 120 metres.
There are also rules stating that you may not use a public road for drone take-off or landing purposes.
4. You Cannot Use Drones In Adverse Weather Conditions
Keep in mind that if it is an extremely overcast day you will not be able to use drone photography. This is because the pilot is required to have the drone in his or her line of sight at all times. The risk of visual obstruction in bad weather conditions means that drone photography is weather-dependant to a degree.
Because there are several drone rules and regulations you need to keep in mind, it’s best to use licenced, professional operators. We’ve been in business long enough to know all the ins and outs.