Helicam Pro CEO Jared Waddams, has become the first drone pilot in Canterbury to become Part 102 certified.
Waddams spent six months preparing his Part 102 application to CAA which included submitting comprehensive operations manuals, undergoing written and practical training, having detailed background checks, and being formally interviewed by CAA staff who travelled from Wellington to assess his application.
Operating under CAA Part 102 has allowed Waddams to provide a comprehensive risk operations plan to clients before each job, which has been a timely requirement with the new Health and Safety at Work Act coming into force this month.
Certification enables HeliCam Pro through comprehensive risk mitigations to perform operations in certain conditions e.g. higher than 120m, at night, and near aerodromes.
As the only certified operator in the entire Canterbury region, workloads have been overwhelming especially in the building and construction industry as the region's earthquake recovery peaks.
A typical day for Waddams could include filming progress for construction companies in the CBD, cliff-side inspections for local city council, 3D aerial surveying for land developers, or documenting accident scenes for WorkSafe investigations.
With government authorities, emergency services and corporate principals increasingly aware of the need to reduce hazards and manage risk by using certified contractors, Waddams is looking to expand the company staff in the future to cater for the strong demand for safe and certified pilots.