You are ready to hire a commercial drone operator, what is next?!? Here are some important tips as you narrow down your selection.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Is the intended shoot location free of any airspace restrictions? The drone operator should be able to advise on any limitations within quick order.
- Does the drone operator regularly practice pre-flight safety checks to help minimize any potential risks during flights?
- A detailed contract is highly recommended to protect both parties.
- Online reviews are a great starting point but why not check a reference or two as well.
- 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.