on this page you can learn more about the United Kindom's drone laws and read our FAQs


on this page you can learn more about the United Kindom's drone laws and read our FAQs

Don't get stung by an illegal drone operator

When you hire a drone operator for a job, always ask to see current proof of their permit and insurance. If they aren't able or willing to show you both, our advice is to walk away. After all, do you really want to risk your company reputation by employing someone that is operating illegally?


Frequently asked questions

The kind of work we do often raises the same questions, so we thought we'd share our most common ones. That said if the question on your mind isn't here, or if you simply prefer to just ask us face-to-face, we're always happy to chat to our clients.

  • What is a 'Drone' ?


    'Drone' is the media friendly term for what we know as our UAS's. which stands for 'Unmanned Aircraft System'. occasionally called an 'Unmanned Aerial Vehicle' or 'UAV'. Whatever you prefer to call them, they are basically aircraft operated remotely by a pilot on the ground.

  • Are Drones safe?


    We think so, but like any piece of electronics or mechanics, there are inherent risks, however many of these can be managed by a well trained operator and team, such as ourselves.


    As part of our commitment to safety we promise the following:

    "We will not fly if we do not feel it is safe to do so"

    We put the safety of people and property first.

  • Do you need a permit / license to fly a Drone?


    Absolutely if you want to fly commercially for work. As a drone operator in the UK, you need what is called a 'Permit for Commercial Operation', though this is not a 'licence to fly' as some might claim. This is a legal requirement from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK. The CAA measure all those that apply for a permit for commercial operation through a strictly controlled scheme, which covers the legal and regulatory theory, practical flying and operational skills, that are needed to safely operate an unmanned aerial vehicles in the UK.


  • Is the permit all you need?


    No. It is also a legal requirement to carry insurance for public liability that also complies with regulation EC-785/2004, as set out by the CAA. At Altitude Aerial Photography we hold cover that significantly exceeds the standard set out by the CAA and covers us up to £5 million for public liability. Though we can also extend this on a job-by-job basis if more cover is needed.

  • Do you have a permit and insurance?


    Absolutely and proud of it. All of our Altitude Aerial Photography pilots have completed CAA approved courses in addition to their years of advanced remote aircraft experience. We are also fully insured for public liability. Copies of this, as well as our operations manual are available upon request.


    As well as holding permits to fly in the more basic 0-7kg category of aircraft, our main Pilots are also fully licensed to fly in the 7-20kg category, as well as a permission from the CAA to fly at severely reduced separation distances.

  • Can you fly a Drone anywhere?


    We get asked this and many similar questions, such as, can a drone film over water, can a drone film over buildings, how high can a drone go, how far can a drone fly, and what can you film with a drone?


    As well as having a permit that allows us to fly aircraft up to 20kgs in the UK, we also hold a UAS-OSC, which is a specialist operating safety case, granted by the CAA, which permits us to fly in many locations that a standard permit holder would not be allowed due to the limitations imposed within standard permits, so before you think a drone can't be flown somewhere, get in touch, you may be surprised.

  • Do all operators have the same permits?


    No. There are the standard limitations set out to all operators, but we have a special permission granted by the CAA to fly much closer, as well as in locations many would have to refuse, such as in congested areas with our larger aircraft. It's worth noting however that this sometimes still needs to be done with suitable planning and risk assessments, as a result if you have a job that is potentially complicated, the sooner you can discuss it with us the better.

  • How long can the Drone fly for?


    This depends on which craft we use on the day, but a typical flight is 10-12 minutes. This can change slightly depending on air temperature and the altitude we start flying from, but we carry spare batteries and charging facilities in order to keep flying.

  • What is the video quality like?


    Very good. All of our aircraft operate 3-axis fully stabilised cameras, so no matter what the craft is doing the camera stays smooth and steady. Tied to this all the aircraft carry cameras capable of filming in a range of levels from 720p and 1080p all the way up to 4k ultra high definition. We can also take stills shots from these videos or dedicated stills shots from one of our many SLR cameras.

  • Is the camera angle fixed?


    No, we have the ability on all of our aircraft to adjust the cameras tilt in flight, with our larger aircraft having the ability to add pan and roll, as well as the option for a separate camera operator for a full 360 degree range of movement.


    To further improve the quality of our work and help the operators get the most for you, all of our aircraft have live video downlinks to the ground, which allows us and you to see exactly what the camera sees as we fly.

  • What format do you record in?


    We can record in various modes and frame rates, so please contact us to discuss your needs.

  • Can you fly in any weather?


    We can fly in winds of up to 20/25 knots for most of our aircraft, but anything stronger and rain or fog just isn't safe to work in. To be fair though, the best images won't be achieved in these conditions anyway. Sometimes this means waiting for gaps in the weather and occasionally postponing a job if necessary.

  • How long does it take to set the drone up on the day?


    This depends a little on the drone we're using and the location. Typically the first flight of the day has a small delay as we run a few vital calibration settings before this, which set us up for the day and makes all subsequent flights quicker and safer. The important thing to understand is that for us, safety comes first. We can promise to work efficiently and communicate clearly so we're ready when needed.

  • What happens if my job is postponed?


    We aim to only ever postpone when absolutely necessary, which is typically down to the weather. So if we are unable to fly we can move your booking to another day at no extra cost.


    If you wish to cancel a job, then this is covered in our terms and conditions, which will be provided with your quote.

  • What do you need to provide a quote?


    We're always willing to chat, as this is what we do. We can then tell you if and how we can help. It will always help if you can bring us the following information as a starting point though:




    Date and time.


    Roughly what you hope to achieve.


    Any special requirements.

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Don't get stung by an illegal drone operator


Frequently asked questions


on this page you can learn more about the United Kindom's drone laws and read our FAQs

Don't get stung by an illegal drone operator


Frequently asked questions