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  • Brady Gilliam

8 Reasons To Hire Licensed Drone Pilots For Your Commercial Video Production

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Visionaery Productions - Commercial Licensed Drone Pilot


Welcome to the Visionaery Productions blog, where we highlight the trends, technology, and artistry behind creating compelling video content. As a premier video production company, we firmly believe in the transformative power of professionally captured aerial footage in telling unique and compelling stories. Beyond the breathtaking views, a complex matrix of safety regulations, privacy laws, and quality considerations come into play. We highly recommend – and indeed, use ourselves – licensed and insured drone pilots for all our aerial cinematography. In this post, we'll delve into the importance of hiring such professionals for commercial video production. We will demonstrate how this decision can secure your project, enhance its visual impact, ensure legal compliance, and ultimately deliver video content that truly speaks to your audience. Join us as we explore this critical aspect of video production that often goes unnoticed yet plays a pivotal role in the final product.

Visionaery Productions - Commercial Licensed Drone Pilot


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States defines a "commercial" drone operation as any operation of a drone (also known as an Unmanned Aircraft System, or UAS) that is related to a business or used for the furtherance of a business.

This definition includes activities where the drone operation might not generate revenue directly but is performed to support a business in some way. For example, using a drone to capture footage for a business's marketing campaign, real estate photography, or surveying a construction site would be considered a commercial drone operation.

Any use from a small unmanned aircraft in which you intend to make money or that benefits your business in any way is generally considered a commercial operation under FAA rules. You must have a PART 107 drone pilot license to fly your drone commercially.


At Visionaery Productions, we understand the magic aerial footage can bring to your commercial videos. However, it's important to appreciate that an insured FAA-certified drone pilot should always capture commercial drone work. Here's why:

1. Legal Compliance

Commercial drone operations are strictly regulated. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires drone operators to hold a Part 107 certification for commercial purposes. Licensed drone pilots have this certification and are well-versed in all related laws and regulations, ensuring all operations are legal and above board.

2. Safety Assurance

A licensed drone pilot is trained in safe flying practices and aware of flight height restrictions, no-fly zones, and emergency protocols. Their expertise minimizes the risk of accidents resulting in injury or property damage. Safety is paramount in our drone piloting operations at Visionaery Productions, and we value professionals who echo this commitment.

3. Quality and Professionalism

Cinematic footage requires more than just owning a drone. Licensed drone pilots possess the skills, knowledge, and experience to capture high-quality footage, even in challenging conditions. They can adjust camera settings for the best shot, maneuver drones smoothly for stable footage, and navigate difficult locations to get the perfect angle.

4. Efficiency and Time-Saving

Time is money in video production. Licensed drone pilots have the expertise to do the job efficiently, avoiding the costly delays and do-overs that might occur with less experienced operators. Their professional approach ensures that projects stay on schedule and within budget.

5. Insurance

Accidents can happen, even with the most seasoned professionals. Licensed drone pilots typically have drone insurance coverage that protects you and your projects in case of mishaps. This coverage can save you from significant unexpected costs.

6. Respect for Privacy Laws

Licensed drone operators are also trained to respect privacy laws when capturing aerial footage. Privacy violations can lead to legal complications, a risk significantly minimized when working with a professional, licensed operator.

7. Proper Equipment Maintenance

Professional drone pilots maintain their equipment to ensure it's always in optimal working condition. Well-maintained drones are more likely to perform reliably and produce high-quality footage.

8. Ongoing Training and Skill Upgrades

FAA Airman Certificate holders, by virtue of their professional approach, often engage in ongoing training and skill upgrades to keep up with the latest developments in drone technology and regulations. This commitment to continual learning ensures they can provide the best service possible.

Want to learn more about hiring Visionaery for drone video services? Learn more here!

Visionaery Productions - Commercial Licensed Drone Pilot


Understanding the local, state, and federal laws pertaining to drone operations is critical to commercial drone flights. Here in Michigan, where Visionaery Productions is based, we operate under the rule of federal law, as stipulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Michigan's state law uniquely prohibits local governments from regulating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), except for drones owned and operated by localities.

In practice, this means that drone operators in Michigan need to have a solid understanding of federal regulations, as these are the dominant rules governing drone usage here. A licensed drone operator must pass the FAA's Part 107 test to obtain an FAA drone pilot license. They also must keep their knowledge updated as the drone industry and drone laws evolve.

However, drone laws can vary significantly from state to state, and an experienced, licensed drone operator must understand these differences when operating in different jurisdictions. Licensed drone pilots not only bring technical skills and a high safety standard. They also ensure your project complies with all relevant laws and regulations, thus protecting your interests and investment. At Visionaery Productions, we prioritize working with such knowledgeable professionals to ensure a smooth, legal, and high-quality production process.

Visionaery Productions - Commercial Licensed Drone Pilot


Pilots undergo extensive drone training/testing that provides them with knowledge and skills beyond basic drone operation and drone laws/regulations. Here are some areas of expertise that a licensed commercial drone operator typically possesses:

  1. Understanding of Airspace: Licensed pilots are trained to understand the different types of airspace and the specific rules for operating drones in each. They know how to read aeronautical charts, identify restricted areas and no-fly zones, and request authorization to fly in controlled airspace through an aeronautical knowledge test.

  2. Weather and Environmental Knowledge: Weather plays a crucial role in drone flight. Licensed pilots learn about weather patterns, how different conditions affect drone performance, and how to interpret weather reports. They are also aware of environmental factors such as topography, wildlife, and wind that may affect drone operations.

  3. Advanced Flight Techniques: Professional pilots take flight training programs where they learn advanced flight techniques that can enhance the quality of the footage they capture. This includes understanding camera settings, flying for smooth shots, and performing complex maneuvers.

  4. Communication and Coordination: Communication with air traffic control and understanding aviation language can be a part of licensed pilot training, especially for operations in controlled airspace or near airports.

  5. The Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC): Through the LAANC system, drone operators can:

    1. Apply for digital authorization to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle in controlled airspace around airports. Controlled airspace is generally within a five-mile radius of an airport, but this can vary.

    2. Receive automatic notifications about where they can and cannot fly within these areas, along with other flight information.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) takes violations of drone regulations very seriously. It has the authority to impose substantial fines for non-compliance. The exact amount of the fines can vary depending on the nature and severity of the violation.

These fines can be for violations such as operating a drone without a valid FAA Part 107 certificate for commercial purposes, flying in restricted airspace without authorization, or operating a drone recklessly or dangerously.

In addition to the FAA's penalties, individuals or companies could face additional legal consequences if their drone operation results in privacy violations, property damage, personal injury, or other harm. These consequences could include lawsuits, criminal charges, and further financial liabilities.

The potential for such fines and legal consequences underlines the importance of hiring a licensed drone operator for commercial operations who understands and adheres to all relevant regulations. As drone laws and penalties can change, it's always a good idea to stay updated on the latest rules and regulations by visiting the FAA's website or consulting a legal professional.


The decision to hire a licensed and insured drone pilot for commercial video production goes beyond the visual appeal of stunning aerial footage. It is about respecting and adhering to safety regulations, privacy laws, and airspace rules and acknowledging these professionals' skills, experience, and expertise. It's about ensuring your project captures an audience's attention and remains compliant, safe, and efficient.

At Visionaery Productions, we recognize that every choice we make – from the team we work with to the equipment we use – shapes the stories we tell. We choose to work with licensed drone pilots because we believe in delivering nothing but the best for our clients. Their skillful artistry and meticulous compliance with regulations contribute immensely to creating high-quality, awe-inspiring, and safe commercial video content.

Navigating the world of drone operations can be complex. Still, with a licensed drone pilot, you're assured of a partner who can steer you through these intricacies. As we continue to leverage the transformative power of aerial footage, we invite you to join us in prioritizing safety, legality, and professionalism. Together, we can elevate our narratives and shape a compelling visual journey that leaves a lasting impression.


Visionaery Productions is here to partner with you in your commercial drone operations with our licensed drone pilots. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our full-service video production company has a team of experts who will help you create high-quality, engaging videos that resonate with your audience and drive results through video marketing strategy. Visionaery Productions works with budgets of all sizes and varying scopes.

Visionaery specializes in commercial video, corporate video, and drone video services. We partner with highly impactful brands to channel their vision and values into creative video marketing that makes it easy for people to resonate with their mission.

Check out the work we've produced here.

Contact Visionaery Productions today to book your discovery call! Our video marketing services will take your vision to new heights!



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