What happens if I want to use a drone in my business?

Disruptive technologies are becoming increasingly popular among forward-thinking businesses, with many high-profile companies such as Amazon, Just Eat and even the BBC recognising the benefits of using drones and other great tech as part of their businesses.

However, any organisation which is interested in exploiting the benefits of drone technology needs to tread very carefully to ensure it is acting in accordance with the law, which in many cases can be incredibly strict.

Furthermore, as drones are relatively new, the regulations governing their use in the UK are constantly changing and evolving – and businesses need to keep up with this pace of change.

Adequate preparation

Anyone who wants to start using drones must prepare accordingly by ensuring that they have undertaken a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved drone course. On top of this, businesses need to seek permission from the CAA to use drones commercially and part of that process will involve ensuring they have taken out an appropriate insurance policy to cover such aerial activities.

Businesses must also keep in mind that, from 2019 onwards, any drones weighing 250 grams or more might have to be registered before use, should legislation currently being considered by Parliament be passed.

Thinking about the wider implications of drone use

Getting up-to-speed with the law, seeking out proper training and getting permission from the CAA are all a given, but business must also think carefully about the wider implications of using drones.

For example, it is important to consider the environment any drones will be used in, whether this is in close proximity to flight paths or events, and how nearby properties and landowners vessels of vehicles might be affected in terms of noise pollution and potential physical damage in the event that something goes wrong.

It is equally important to think about the data protection implications of using drones. Many commercial uses of drones will require the gathering of data, which could include sensitive and personal data – which means that businesses might need to gain consent from those whose data is captured, unless they would not reasonably expect privacy in the circumstances.

Seeking appropriate advice

Above all else, businesses need to take into account that drones are still an emerging technology and that the regulations that govern them are rapidly changing.

Due to this, it is important to seek specialist legal advice when considering using drones and other types of autonomous technology as part of your business.

Speak to our resident drone experts, Rufus Ballaster and Andrew Firman today to find out more – or purchase a copy of our book, A Practical Guide to Drone Law.