Is it a bird… is it a plane? No, it’s a drone.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, (also known as a drone) are swooping into the spotlight and are going – quite literally – where no man has gone before.

The film and entertainment industry is abuzz with the new opportunities offered by the use of  drones in their business.

Commercial directors have snapped up this nimble addition to their film techniques and are still discovering the possibilities that are on offer. Industry experts are likening the advent of the drone to the lightweight cameras of the 1960s which opened up brand new opportunities in filmmaking.

Drone use has certainly changed the film industry for the better.

Suddenly, they can film shots which they simply couldn’t do before – such as dropping down into narrow spaces like alleyways and canyons, and even flying through doors and windows.

Aside from their agility and speed, they offer a cost effective way to get aerial footage. Prior to drones, a manned helicopter or a crane were the only options available to filmmakers – which was both expensive and time-consuming. However, a drone can be set up for a scene in a fraction of the time and capture the footage quickly and effectively. In fact, some companies are saving over 90% of the cost of a helicopter simply by using drones.

Hollywood has already been using drones to impress their viewers. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Van Helsing, Transformers and Game of Thrones – to name just a few – all boast incredible aerial footage from this agile little machine.

Innovative companies are hiring out their drones to the film industry and monetizing their (significant) investment. They can also count real estate agents and advertising companies as clients, who are also seeing the benefits of drone use in capturing aerial images.

With drones being used so extensively, regulations have been implemented as of July 2015 by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). South African law requires that to operate drones commercially in South Africa, the drones need to be registered for commercial use and the operators need to hold five licenses.

These include:

  1. Registered RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft or drone)
  2. RPL – RPAS Pilot License (for the pilot)
  3. ASL – Air Services License (from Department of Transport)
  4. RLA – RPAS Letter of Approval (for each drone)
  5. ROC – Remote Operator Certificate

New technology dictates new insurance cover, and CC&A Insurance are proud to be at the forefront of this exciting development. We are thrilled to be able to offer our clients full-service drone cover, and we invite you to talk to one of our brokers for more information.