A successful remote operation is dependent on several key elements. It is our priority to the safely execute a mission by always performing a pre-flight survey, inspecting our equipment, creating safety procedures and effectively managing our remote UAS crew. Safety will always be the number one priority over the getting the shot.
A drone pilot that is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration is allowed to fly in areas other recreational drone operators are not legally allowed to fly. There are many rules and procedures that only a certified drone pilot can know and do in order to fly commercially. It is extremely important to verify that your drone pilot you are hiring has an up-to-date FAA Remote UVA Certification (Part 107) so that your images and video are gathered legally and, more importantly, your production is not endangering anyone on the ground or in the air.
A certified Remote Pilot in Command has to, at minimum, demonstrate knowledge of the different type of airspace, weather reports, load/balance physics, see-and-avoid strategy, ground safety and, most important, keeping the drone in visual line of sight (VLOS). Maintaining a VLOS is especially important especially in an area with high air traffic such as Miami. If you, your drone pilot, or a visual observer cannot see the drone with the naked eye then you are putting innocent people at risk for injury and/or death.
The best way to lower the safety risk of your operation is to make certain you are hiring a certified and knowledgeable drone pilot. If they don't have the FAA's required Part 107 certificate then find someone who does. This is your responsibility to do this due diligence or you're putting peoples' lives in danger.
For more information about Remote Pilot Certification please go to the Federal Aviation Administration's website by clicking here.
Authorizations & Waivers
The FAA has built into Part 107 a section that lists out what regulations can be waived under an FAA Part 107 waiver. Only a certified PIC may apply to the FAA for a certificate of waiver (COW) asking for certain regulations to be waived during the proposed operations. For example, flying at night is normally never allowed with a remote UAV, however, if the FAA believes the applicant has shown the operations are safe enough, the applicant will be given an FAA Part 107 waiver from a particular regulation and the applicant now operates under the certificate of waiver’s restrictions in addition to the regulation waived. That means, it is possible to do things out of the normal operation but it takes time (up to 90 days) for your waiver to be reviewed by the FAA. Just because a certified drone pilot has applied for a waiver does not mean the FAA will grant the pilots request.