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

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

In some congested areas it becomes very difficult, if not impossible to get all the consents required 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 Operational Safety Case or OSC.

Aspect have undergone an extensive evaluation and have qualified to operate under Drone Safe Register’s (DSR) OSC, and conducted our first operation just recently. The conditions of the allowed us to work to a flight stand-off distance of 20m to the busy road to the front of the site, and neighbouring properties. 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. The increase in manpower 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

Working to a stand-off of 20m allows us to fly just meters above a 2-3 storey building meaning that we can capture incredibly detailed inspection photographs. Couple this with the ability of our drone to carry telephoto lenses and you have one of the most powerful platforms for drone inspection / survey work available.

Aspect were one of the first operator’s to qualify to operate under DSR’s OSC

Where can we find out more information?

Please contact us at Aspect or you can read more on the Drone Safe Register website here
What does OSC Mean?