How to operate drones commercially in congested areas such as town centres

Standard Permission (PFCO) distances are 50m from people, property, vehicles and vessels (PPVV’s) not under the operator’s control.

In some congested areas it becomes very difficult, if not impossible to operate legally with standard permissions. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recognise this and will allow operators to work at reduced distances where they have applied for and been granted an OSC.

For our first operation under DSR’s OSC we were working to a flight stand-off distance of 20m to the busy road to the front of the site. As you would expect enhanced safety features were required and the methodology for deploying those measures were detailed in DSR’s OSC operations manual.

Risk Mitigation

Risk mitigation measures were quite extensive, but one of the key features was to have additional staff on-site during the operation to monitor the SUA, the airspace and the environment. This may lead to additional cost but this is largely off-set by a reduction in time spent getting neighbour permissions or road closures.

Remember, the distance has reduced from 50m to 20m thereby reducing the area that needs to be brought under control considerably

At 20m stand-off distance the area that needs to be controlled reduces
from 7855m2 to 1562m2

Drone Safe Register’s OSC is unique in that qualifying members are certified to operate under the OSC. Aspect were one of the first operator’s to acquire this benefit

Where can we find out more information?

You can read more on the Drone Safe website here
What does OSC Mean?