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Lets say you get all your paperwork in good shape and have everything setup to film the city (or another scenic location) from a drone. How do you then ensure that the local police officers don't constantly come up to you and demand to see your paperwork, making it difficult to operate without interruptions?

I can imagine this being somewhat doable if you have an assistant but what about solo drone operators? Do they call the non-emergency police line and ask an officer to stay with them onsite? Do they put the permits up on a plaque before initiating the flight?

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  • Look the part - wear a high-visibilty jacket with a company logo, "UAV Pilot" or other markings that makes you look like a professional.
  • Put up a sign which explains who you are and what you are doing - "Drone Filming In Progress - please wait until aircraft is landed before approachng pilot. Operator: SuperDronePics Ltd, Permit number: OP-4ME33NK."
  • Where possible, fly with an observer/helper who can intercept interested people (police, public, etc.)
  • If you are flying somewhere particularly likely to attract attention, it may be worth contacting the local non-emergency number in advance. I don't expect they'll post an officer with you thoughout the flight, but it could help to cover phone calls from the public - and perhaps a police officer who radios in before approaching you.

Finally, always have all your paperwork ready to show - if you are interrputed, it looks more professional to have a folder with your permits, insurance, etc. at hand. While police interest might become annoying (especially when repetitive!) you are almost always better off just answering their questions and being helpful.

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