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The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published official advice of on the safe use of drones for first-time users. Their advice applies to people using drones for personal or commercial use.


Drones are useful to survey hazardous areas. Instead of sending in a human wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), a drone can safely send video images of the area without endangering human health. However, if drones are not used responsibly, they can be a danger to workers and aircraft.


Cloudbase Images, a company that uses photography drones, says:


"Used well, drones can undoubtedly allow unsafe actions to take place more safely. The common usage of drones includes accessing roofs, working at height, land surveys and aerial photography."


The CAA says that all first-time drone flyers must read The Drone and Model Aircraft Code, which is on their website.


To fly legally, first-time drone flyers need to pass a theory test, get a flyer ID and register their drone. The Dronecode has guidance on flying drones safely. Drones must be flown away from people, vehicles and buildings. If taking photographs, there are privacy issues when capturing images of people or private property. At all times, the drone must be visible to the drone flyer without the need for visual aids such as binoculars, telephoto lenses or smartphone apps.


Anyone flying commercial drones or making money from drone flying needs commercial approval from the CAA. Businesses are responsible for making sure that all employees that fly drones are trained in their safe use, and that all flyers are qualified.

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