Aerial Film and Photography Glossary

The aerial industry likes to use lots of names and abbreviations, when you're trying to research aerial companies it can make things a little confusing. Here's our essential aerial photography glossary!

ANO. Air Navigation Order. The main legislation covering every airborne vehicle, from aeroplanes to aerial photographers.

ARPAS. Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.

BNUC-S. A qualification commissioned by the CAA to ensure pilots of unmanned vehicles meet the necessary safety and competency standards.

CAA. Civil Aviation Authority, is the UK's specialist aviation regulator, recognised as a world leader in their field.

Drone. A remote controlled aircraft. Tends to have military connotations, so we don't use the term in relation to creative work! 

FAA. Federal Aviation Authority. The Federal Aviation Authority, the US equivalent of the CAA. If you're reading about legislation or laws and the FAA is mentioned, the article is almost certainly about American airspace.

Hexacopter. A professional multi-rotor vehicle with six propellers.

NAA. National Aviation Authority. The umbrella terms for organisations like the CAA and FAA.

NOTAM. A notification issued to pilots before flight advising of any circumstances relevant to the state of flying. Bakehouse would check for relevant NOTAMs in an area before flight. 

NQE. National Qualified Entities. The umbrella name given by the CAA to organisations which are able to assess pilots and award pilot qualifications.

Observer. It is the role of the observer to monitor the environment and warn the flight team of any ground or air incursions, the observer will also manage fail safe and emergency procedures.

Octacopter. A professional multi-rotor vehicle with eight propellers.

PfAW. Permission for Aerial Work. This document is a legal requirement for any one who wants to offer aerial film or photography in exchange for any form of consideration or for use in a commercial environment.

Pilot. Responsible for safe flight procedures. The pilot is the qualified entity, not the company which provide their services.

Quadcopter. A multi-rotor vehicle with four propellers, typically used by hobbyists or as a training aid.

RPAS. Remotely Piloted Aircraft System.

Spotter. An observer may enlist the support of several spotters to ensure safe flying, spotters will monitor ground and airspace for incursions and report back to the observer.

SUA. Small Unmanned Aircraft. Any unmanned aerial vehicle 

SUAS. Small Unmanned Aerial System.

SUSA. Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft.

UAS. Unmanned Aircraft System. 

UAV. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. 

VLOS. Visual Line of Sight. A requirement of the Air Navigation Order is that remote pilots must maintain direct visual contact with their vehicle at all times.

Ben O'Leary

Bakehouse Studio Ltd, Hull, HU5 3DT, United Kingdom