How to receive a permit for aerial photography in a city

13 February 2017
How to receive a permit for aerial photography in a city

It’s difficult but quite possible to receive a permit for flights in the city area. The process will take around 2 weeks, but in the end you will be able to pilot a drone and do a photo shoot without any problems with law-enforcement authorities.

  1. Submit the documents to the municipal department of transport. Set the time frame in your query: when you are going to launch the drone, its route and mission. Application is written on a special enumerated blank form, certified by seal and filed to the clerical office of the executive committee. Usually, the review takes from 3 to 5 days.
  2. At the same time you have to make an enquiry to the clerical office of the local agency of the federal security service. Usually you would receive a permit in 10–14 days, although under the current legislation this process can be stretched to a month.
  3. After getting approvals from the abovementioned institutions, you have to send “The submission for setting a time frame” to the main office of flight regulation. It must be done by fax 5 days prior to the launch. The approval will take several more days.

In case there is an airport in the city, you have to coordinate the approval of the launch with its air traffic controller (or flight operations officer) before sending “The submission”: you will have to provide the copies of obtained takeoff clearances from the executive committee and federal security service.

In “The submission” you have to specify:

  • name of the organization (full name for a physical person);
  • dates of flights;
  • location;
  • flying height;
  • full name and position of the airport’s employee that approved the flight;
  • mission of the flights.

When specifying the flight route, you don’t have to mention specific locations. Specify just the radius, which must not exceed 10 km.

“The submission” can include 3 main flight days and 3 alternatives.

  1. A day before the intended flight you have to send the flight plan to the UATMS (Unified Air Traffic Management System). Make sure to call the organization to check whether the flight plan is approved.
  2. Two hours before the launch contact the regional center of the UATMS requesting clearance. After finishing the flight inform the regional center of the UATMS.
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