LETTER: Stop droning on!

16:25 12 February 2017

I read with interest your article in the Cambs Times regarding UAV (drone - in this case), photography over March.

If you read the following then you will find that this practice is not allowed under CAA rules, unless you are a qualified UAV operator, and have the correct permissions to do so.

(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.

(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are:

(a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area;

(b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;

(c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or

(d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.

(4) Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the person in charge of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.

(5) In this article ‘a small unmanned surveillance aircraft’ means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.”

This is only a small part of the document, but the rest can be found on CAA’s website. Also, most of March is a restricted area with regards to UAVs, because of the Whitemoor Prison.

As a responsible and insured UAV flyer, I would suggest, that you read the law, and regulations, before publishing related articles, and not promote the flying of machines over our towns etc, by those who may not be qualified, have the correct permissions, and most importantly, have at least third party liability insurance.

I’m not trying to take the fun away from this great medium, but promoting any Tom, Dick and Harry, to perform aerial photography over our towns is highly irresponsible.

Irresponsible UAV pilots, are causing such major concern that the CAA, and the government, are looking at mandating UAV owners, to become registered, may have to take a relevant course.

CHARLIE SHAW

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