Today we are taking some photographs of the incredible Fonmon Castle, just outside Cardiff in South Wales. The bride and groom, Rebecca and Leigh asked us to capture some aerial images of the venue during their wedding day.
Before any aerial photography commission, it is standard practice for us to carry out several safety checks before we are happy the flights can be made safely. The first of which is an ‘Offsite Survey’ which involves Google Earth, Ordinance Survey maps and a website called Skydemonlight.com. Sky Demon shows us in detail all of the controlled and restricted airspace in the UK and it will tell us if the location lies within either of them.
For Fonmon Castle the initial Google Earth search showed us that there was probably no need to head over the Skydemonlight.com. It was clear that the venue was VERY close to the end of the runway at Cardiff Wales Airport and obviously within the Cardiff CTA (Controlled Airspace).
Cardiff Air Traffic Control have written detailed procedures on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) within their controlled airspace and welcome phone calls to the tower requesting permission to fly within it.
I called the tower and explained when I was intending to fly, the type of aircraft I was going to use and gave details of the location, distance and height that I’d like to fly at. Also I gave details of my CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) Permission for Aerial Work. This is a legal requirement in order to operate UAVs professionally.It isn’t a legal requirement to have the CAA license to fly a drone in the Cardiff CTA but it is highly recommended to contact the tower before you do so. The CTA covers areas such as Barry, Rhoose and Cowbridge. If you’re in Llantwit Major then this is covered by the St Athan ATZ or Military Controlled Airspace. As you can imagine it’s probably a good idea to find out if you can fly in these areas first.
We spoke nicely to the tower, we coordinated our flights with theirs and dovetailed nicely between the holiday makers.