Affordable Aerial Imagery – CAA PFCO/PFAW Qualified – Fully Insured

Catalyst Video Services has a fully qualified and insured commercial aerial video drone pilot with a BNUC-S qualification and a CAA approved ‘Permission for Commercial Operations’ (previously ‘Permission for Aerial Work’).

This allows Catalyst to fly at altitudes of up to 400ft (120m) whilst adhering to the strict safety and operational rules necessary to ensure the safety of crew, public and buildings.

As a licensed operator of UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) Catalyst is governed and regulated by the CAA. It is essential for us to adhere to these regulations for our insurance and public liability cover to be valid. Although the restrictions are extremely detailed, we can outline a few basic pointers here (however, each job will be risk assessed on an individual basis).

  • We require the permission of the landowner to take off and land
  • We cannot fly directly over people, roads & buildings which are not under the control of our film crew and require a minimum of 50 meters distance from these objects.
  • Certain restrictions apply to certain areas of Central London and additional permissions to fly need to be sought from the CAA.
  • If we are flying near to an airport or aerodrome, we may need to contact Air traffic Control to check with them that it is safe to operate at a certain height on a specified date and time.

Sometimes it may be necessary to do a pre-flight visit to a location to ascertain if it will be possible to fly. However, usually just a post code or location of where and what we are filming will be enough for us to do a pre-flight survey online to see if there are any flight restrictions which we need to be aware of.

The Pilot always has final say if flying conditions and locations can be ‘deemed safe’.

The BNUC-S™ pilot qualification

The Basic National UAS Certificate (BNUC™), introduced by EuroUSC™ in 2007, was the first commercial drone pilot qualification for remotely piloted aircraft below 150kg. In recognition of EuroUSC™’s expertise the UK Civil Aviation Authority commissioned EuroUSC™ in January 2010 to write the first drone pilot qualification standard for small sub 20kg drones relevant to fixed wing, rotary and multi-rotor systems. Subsequently, the Basic National UAS Certificate (BNUC-S™) has become the preferred drone pilot qualification required by many National Aviation Authorities before a Permission (PfCO) or Exemption is granted to an Operator.

The BNUC-S™ pilot qualification is attained by passing both a 2-day Part 1 Theory course and a Part 2 Flight Operations Assessment. To encourage safe operation in this new industry the qualification also requires the production of an extensive Safety and Operations Manual that includes planning, safety and operating procedures.

Failsafe equipment

Catalyst and its aerial filming equipment has been assessed by The European Unmanned Systems Centre (EuroUSC™) – Europe’s leading independent Light UAS Accreditation Specialist for assessing ‘Airworthiness & Pilot Qualifications’.

Catalyst’s video drone is fitted with fail safe return-to-home frequencies if the pilot is incapacitated or radio signal is lost with the UAV, though we are pleased to report that these functions have never been required!!!!

Do not hire unlicensed pilots!

As the growth of awareness in UAV filming and photography is realised, more suppliers will be offering their services. Anyone flying drones for commercial use is required to be licensed by the CAA and if they are not they will not be insured or have public liability cover.

Read more about hiring licensed drone operators

Please be careful to select a licensed operator for the safety of those being filmed and the protection of the aerial filming industry! Thank you.

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