Aerial FAQS

Why may I need a survey of my building?

As an employer and senior manager you will have a duty of care for your staff and contractors working on your roofs, condition of these areas and existing safety controls. You will also have a duty of care for members of the public entering your building. You have a duty of care to ensure all occupants are safe. The Aerial FM survey will provide a safe means of surveying and provide periodic video data on the condition of your building envelope (glazing, fabric and roofs).

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007: For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care. Penalties can include unlimited fines, remedial and publicity orders that could affect the future performance of your business.

In 2014-15, 50% of all fatal injuries at work in the UK was due to a fall from height by employees or contractors. The public are also not safe from unsafe roof tiles, flashing and masonry that can be damaged and blown down during storm conditions causing serious injury or death

What does Aerial FM provide?

At Aerial FM we provide a safe means of surveying your building by using the state of the art unmanned drones. The stable quadcopter with GPS stabilization and 4k video/12megapixel camera technology can hover over your roof, skylights, glazing, chimneys and building fabric to assess the condition of your building.

Aerial FM can provide your business and contractors with the means to plan safely, carry out work effectively and record due diligence safety inspections.


Can anyone fly these unmanned drones to survey my building?

No, commercial UAV pilots must have an accredited commercial training qualification and have permission by the CAA for commercial operations (PfCO). Aerial FM pilots are BNUC-S qualified for commercial flight and Aerial FM have Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.  It is a criminal offence to carry out commercial drone operations without the required pilot qualifications and CAA permissions.

Only Aerial FM pilots can control and operate our aircraft. However, the client can operate the camera if they would prefer to examine the building themselves.

Do you have insurance?

Aerial FM is fully insured for £5m public and product liability in the event of an accident.  Our insurance certificates and competency ID cards are handed to the client along with our risk assessments prior to all flights. All our flights are planned with safety in mind i.e. aircraft inspections and maintenance checks, proposed flight paths extensively surveyed and risk assessed.

Aerial FM Limited is a reliable and safe survey contractor.  Our company is ContractorPLUS accredited and demonstrates our commitment to health and safety.

Does the aircraft have safety features?

Yes, our aircrafts have safety modes integrated in the design to enable the aircraft to return home if battery power runs low or there is loss of control signal.

Aerial FM has a detailed safety operational manual which has been assessed by the CAA as part of our Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) to ensure our crew are fully trained in the response to an incident.  Our emergency safety controls and procedures are frequently tested with the aircraft.

Are aerial surveys expensive?

We consider our aerial survey services to be less expensive than hiring a mobile access platform or scaffolding. Both these options take time to arrange and will require an IPAF operator for a mobile platform and PASMA qualified operators to erect scaffolding.   Both these options still require human interaction which heightens the risk factor when working at height and on fragile surfaces or where there is no edge protection.

An Unmanned Survey Aircraft can inspect a building in a fraction of the time it would take an employee or contractor to access all areas. Our aerial quadcopter is also capturing video and photographic data that you can view at our Command Point during the flight, or we can provide an encrypted memory stick with the data securely loaded.

If you have storm damage or leaks and time is of the essence to get details submitted to your insurer. We can risk assess and be in the air far quicker and safer than the above options.

How do you know what to look for?

Aerial FM pilots have served as Facilities Managers with 20+ years experience in the management of TFM contracts, maintenance of structures, roofing projects and building inspections. Our experience, training and inspection knowledge is what sets Aerial FM apart from the competition as we provide your building with a detailed and comprehensive aerial assessment.

Aerial FM is not a building maintenance contractor nor are we affiliated with maintenance contractors.  This means we are not assessing your building with the chance of additional work to repair defects that we find.  With Aerial FM you get an aerial assessment and solutions/recommendations that can be trusted.

Our pilots are British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) members.

What can you survey on a building?

Aerial FM can survey the following structures:

Roofs (i.e. slates, tiled, aluminum panels, felt flat roofs & asbestos cement panels)

Roof Skylights

Roof Smoke Ventilation System (Operational Test & Condition)

Chimneys & Flues (while still in operation)

Lightning Protection Strip Condition

Masonry & Fabric Condition

Glazing Condition

Roof Plant Condition (gantry/walkway, fans, AC equipment etc)


Bird Control

Security Access Reports

Roof Warranty Inspections

Storm Damage Inspections

Evaluation Assessment of Recent High Level Works

Bespoke Safety Induction Videos

Do you provide thermal assessments?

Yes we do, Aerial FM thermal cameras can be attached to the aircraft to allow a detailed thermal assessments of your building across large areas.

What can a thermal camera survey in my building?

Our aerial thermal camera is used as part of building energy assessments and can scan large areas using high intensity infrared scanning. It will enable accurate temperature readings. Thermal surveys can detect the following:

Building Energy Performance

Insulation damage/Heat loss

Leak detection within roof membranes

Defective Equipment /Excessive overheating

Chimney Assessments/Heat spot detection

Solar panel assessments

How is the data presented?

This is entirely up to our client. The client can view the footage during the flight and even control the camera so they can examine their building direct. Alternatively, Aerial FM can provide our survey data on a branded and encrypted memory stick or provide a detailed survey report with our findings and recommendations.


Do you produce high level training videos?

Yes we do. They are short films to induct and train your employees and contractors on the layout of your roof, access and exit points, safe walkways, safety equipment and hazardous points on the roof which are classed as No Access Areas.

We film your roofs so your video is bespoke to your building and the challenges your employees or contractors will face. Falls from height in the workplace is a result of not having the safety knowledge of the area and the correct safety planning and procedures in place.

 The video can be placed on an online Aerial FM e-learning portal which is accessible only to your staff and contractors. This will record who has logged in to view this important training or it can be delivered directly by the client on a DVD, .mov file or via your company intranet.


Can you take promotional photography or video for our website?

Another aspect to Aerial FM is our professional aerial photography or videography. Stunning media for websites, promotional materials, brochures or corporate videos. An opportunity for bespoke video or photos on your building. Ideal for hotels, holiday home rentals, entertainment venues, shopping centres, retail etc.

Aerial FM can also provide short promotional videos for commercial and residential property sales or lettings that can be used on websites.  Our sales film features stunning aerial images and video of the property, building footprint and surrounding area in addition to internal photography.

How long can you stay in the air?

Our aircraft uses Li-Po battery packs allowing up to 18-22 minute flight time and our pilot has a quantity of packs to allow continuous flight. The batteries are rechargeable and packs will be charging while the aircraft continues to survey.  A small generator is also available whee power is unavailable so we can continue to charge battery packs for continuous flight.

Aerial FM offers half day and full day survey packages to suit client budgets.

Any conditions you are unable to fly in?

Yes, Aerial FM is unable to fly when it is raining, snowing or in low visibility conditions. We are also unable to fly in wind speeds above 16-18mph.

How many images do I get on a survey?

All our packages offer unlimited video or photographs taken during the survey package.

Why is CAA permission important?

If your drone operator is unable to display a CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) then they may not be authorised to carry out paid commercial work.  If a drone pilot offers paid commercial aerial work without CAA permission then they are breaking the law and will not be insured should this inexperienced pilot have an accident on your premises.

Check your drone pilot has a recognised qualification, CAA permissions, Insurance and an Operations Manual detailing the safety procedures in operating his/her aircraft.