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Important Tips To Consider Before Hiring A Commercial Drone Operator

You are ready to hire a commercial drone operator, what is next?!?  Here are some important tips as you narrow down your selection.
  1. It is always good practice when contracting for professional services to consider more than one company or individual.  A competitive sourcing approach will help facilitate the decision process and “level the playing field”.
  2. Does the drone operator hold an FAA certification to operate their UAV / drone commercially?  An FAA Part 107 certification is required.  See the FAA news summary here.
  3. Does the drone operator carry full liability insurance and what are policy limits?  We recommend a minimum of at least $1M but more may be required based on the type of shoot.
  4. Ask your drone operator to share their work.  Not unlike ground photographers or videographers, a drone operator should be able to showcase their portfolio and/or demo reel by providing a link.
  5.  What type of drone equipment is being used?  Not all drones and cameras are created equal.  Be sure the services being requested, can be fulfilled.  Taking aerial photographs of a commercial property is not the same as providing an aerial thermal image for the purposes of a survey.
  6. Is the intended shoot location free of any airspace restrictions?  The drone operator should be able to advise on any limitations within quick order.
  7. Does the drone operator regularly practice pre-flight safety checks to help minimize any potential risks during flights?
  8. A detailed contract is highly recommended to protect both parties.
  9. Online reviews are a great starting point but why not check a reference or two as well.
  10. Bonus tip: always contact Drone Life Aerials first!

Disclaimer: This article is presented as an opinion of the author, does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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