About Thames Valley Drones

Sussex-based Thames Valley Drones was established in 2015 specifically to offer dedicated & professional drone-based aerial photography, filming and surveys to the following sectors: residential, developer, estate agency, commercial, structural, architectural, industrial, public, civil engineering, agricultural, land agents, historic, archaeological, land & property.  We operate routinely across the following geographic areas:  Berkshire,Thames Valley, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire.  We also offer bespoke services for specific projects nationally.


This is all our company does, along with the relevant supporting digital & creative services of course. These include 
video editing / production / stills photography / design for digital or print.  We don't operate in any other areas so our focus is entirely on the aerial photography, film & surveys we deliver for our clients.




All our staff are fully trained, qualified, accredited and insured drone pilots or trained & experienced digital & print designers who work for us full-time.   All our pilots are also skilled photographers & camera operators - ensuring we get the right shots each and every time. We can operate as single person operation (camera and pilot in one operator) or larger pilot, payload operator / cameraman & ground crew - so you get exactly the right output (video, photograph or survey) at the right cost for your specific project. 




We fly a range of the latest drones & cameras specifically selected for the outputs they deliver and which are ideally suited to aerial photography, filming & surveys for our clients.  Some of our drones can be flown indoors (suitable space / internal square footage permitting) as well as conventional hand-held video, so we can offer seemless video without having to rely on animating stills photography alone.  Additionally our drones are specificaly selected to be extremely agile and manouvreable, even in the tightest internal spaces.


This careful specification of drones also enables us to get close to external elements - all while shooting 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and 12 megapixles photographs.  Consequently this gives extremely high resolution / quality outputs, that we can provide as either raw files for your onward handling by your own designers or we can produce outputs (video or stills) to your specific requirements.


Additionally, here at Thames Valley Drones, where we do the image editing, video production or design for our clients, we only use professional Adobe video & design software including Premier, After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign. 


Thames Valley Drones is where the technology (drones) meets creative (aerial photography & digital) -
we believe our photography speaks for itself






Professional training & accreditation

Working from our new Sussex base, all Thames Valley Drones pilots are fully trained under the recent BNUC™ for Small Unmanned Aircraft (BNUC-S™) for Visual Line of Sight Operations (VLOS) commissioned by the UK CAA in 2010, which covers fixed, rotary and multi-rotor systems. In addition all our pilots have attained the Sub 20Kg, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) Permission for Commercial Work (PfCW) via the CAA which is renewed annually.


This Permission also includes a permission for night flights (in accordance with our CAA approved Operations Manual) enabling us to offer clients photography & filming at night ie where night is classified as 30 mins after and 30 mins before sunset / sunrise.
We also carry third party liability insurance < £10m - depending on the size of the project we are working on. 

For our construction clients we also have pilots with a CSCS Health & Safety & Environment for Operatives accreditation which means that construction clients are more inclined to put our pilots through the construction firm's own Health & Safety programme allowing our pilots to work on live construction sites / CSCS controlled sites.






The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sets the rules on the use of drones in the UK under what is called an air navigation order.  Anyone using a drone for directly commercial purposes (valuable consideration)  or who uses the output for promotion (rather than recreational and purely private use) and does not have a Permission for Commercial Work is likely to be acting in contravention of this CAA order and is unlikely to be trained, experienced, licenced or more importantly insured for this kind of work. 
In broad terms the air navigation order stipulates that:

  • An unmanned aircraft must never be flown beyond the normal unaided "line of sight" of the person operating it - this is generally measured as 500m (1,640ft) horizontally or 400ft (122m) vertically.

  • An unmanned aircraft fitted with a camera must always be flown at least 50m (164ft)  distance away from a person, vehicle, building or structure.

  • An unmanned aircraft fitted with a camera must not be flown within 150m (492ft) of a congested area or large group of people, such as a sporting event or concert.

To operate in any of the areas above requires a Permission for Commercial Work from the CAA, the right class of drone and, where applicable a specific safety case covering the pilot for the specific types of work undertaken.


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