why hire a licensed professional?
Time and time again I have been hired to fix someone else's work. Sometimes it may only cost a client an extra hundred dollars up-front but what has it cost in the long run? How many people viewed the imagery and have since decided the project was not impressive and never looked again? Sometimes saving a dollar can cost you hundreds or even thousands in unforeseen damages.
Hiring an unlicensed aerial photographer may open you and your business up to thousands of dollars in fines.
I mean think about it, you wouldn't be happy trying to compete with unlicensed people trying to sell real estate right?
To operate a drone the pilot must be faa certified and licensed
The FAA currently requires anyone that is using a drone for any type of commercial work be certified. The certification is known as the Part 107. The Part 107 is designed to ensure that any remote Pilot in Command is proficient and knowledgeable of airspace, hazards and multiple other aspects of flying a drone.
Granite Peak Photography is licensed under the Part 107 and is also covered under full liability insurance. Furthermore Granite Peak Photography will ensure that any airspace authorizations or waivers be obtained prior to flying in controlled airspace.
A large area surrounding Laughlin Bullhead International Airport is Class D controlled airspace. Commercial drone operators are not simply allowed to call the tower for clearance for operations they are required to request it in writing from the FAA. Operation of a drone in controlled airspace can be a serious violation.
It is your right and responsibility to ask your drone pilot for his credentials and proof that they are in compliance of all FAA requirements while under your employment. Airspace Authorizations and Waivers will be issued in writing so they should be available upon request of the client. The Remote Pilot proof is issued on a card very similar to a drivers license.
fines and penalties
If an unlicensed drone pilot is found to be breaking these rules they can be liable for $1,100 in fines for each occurrence. The FAA has a really easy to use Online Reporting System.
As a business owner hiring an unlicensed drone operator here's what you need to know. If you hire a unlicensed drone pilot for commercial use, you may be liable and fined as well, at a rate 10 times that of the pilot. So essentially you could be fined up to $11,000 per occurrence for hiring an unlicensed drone pilot to shoot a simple real estate listing or project. The small amount of money you saved in the beginning could cost you substantially.
If you’re operating a drone in the interest of your business and you are not a FAA Licensed sUAS Pilot then you maybe liable to both fines! First, for operating as an unlicensed airman and second, for causing the operation. Furtherance of a business is a key phrase. It doesn’t matter if the unlicensed pilot does it for free or you are doing for your own business, it’s an FAA violation and you are subject to these fines.