What is the definition of Uninvolved People when flying your drone?

Uninvolved people are people who aren't directly involved with a drone operation and have been given a safety briefing from the remote pilot

When flying in the Open Category (under an A2 C of C) or in the Specific Category (under an Operational Authorisation gained by a doing a GVC drone course) you always need to be aware of uninvolved people and what separation distance you need to maintain. 

An uninvolved person is a person that does not take part in the drone operation, either directly or indirectly.

Therefore a person may be considered to be ‘involved’ when they have:

  • Given explicit consent to the drone operator or to the remote pilot to be part of the drone operation (even indirectly as a spectator or just accepting to be overflown by the drone); and received from the drone operator or from the remote pilot clear instructions and safety precautions to follow in case the drone exhibits any unplanned behaviour.

In principle, in order to be considered a ‘person involved’, one:

  • is able to decide whether or not to participate in the UAS operation;
  • broadly understands the risks involved;
  • has reasonable safeguards during the drone operations, introduced by the site manager and the aircraft operator; and
  • is not restricted from taking part in the event or activity if they decide not to participate in the drone operation.

As a drone operator, make sure you always give a safety briefing to people whom you want to be 'involved' with your drone operation.

The person involved is expected to follow the directions and safety precautions provided and the drone operator or remote pilot should check by asking simple questions to make sure that the directions and safety precautions have been properly understood.

Spectators or any other people gathered for sports activities or other mass public events for which the drone operation is not the primary focus are generally considered to be ‘uninvolved persons’.

To put it simply, you cannot fly your drone over a football stadium whilst a football match is in play.

People sitting at a beach or in a park or walking on a street or on a road are also generally considered to be uninvolved persons.

An example: when filming with a drone at a large music festival or public event, it is not sufficient to inform the audience or anyone present via a public address system, or via a statement on the ticket