UCI to allow the use of drones from March

Drones can be used to film races, as long as some strict guidelines are followed.

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Last weekend, GCN shared footage shot on a drone as it followed former cyclocross world champion, Lucinda Brand around the Superprestige Gavere course. Brand, however, Tweeted to clarify that the drone’s use was short-lived. “Unfortunately, this was the only flight, UCI banned it during our race” she said before starting a poll asking her followers to vote on whether they would like to see more of this kind of filming. 

Drones are increasingly being used for filming sporting events as a greener and lower-cost alternative to helicopters and other aircraft.

CyclingTips has since been made aware of planned updates to the UCI’s Regulations — outlined in a memorandum dated two days after Superprestige Gavere and which will be introduced from March 1 — that incorporate an amendment to race safety regulations to accommodate the limited use of drones for video and photography in races.

The governing body’s current regulations read: “Without prejudice to stricter requirements according to the national legislation, the use of drones is prohibited above the course and within 10 meters from the course. Moreover, the user must ensure the drone at no time puts the security of riders, followers and spectators at risk.”

The updated article, 1.2.035, that will be in place from next month now outlines:

“The organiser may authorise the shooting of still photography and/or video by aircrafts, including drones or other small aircrafts, subject to obtaining authorization to operate the relevant equipment safely and securely from the envisaged location. The organizer shall also ensure that any aircraft used does not affect the sporting conduct of the event and shall undertake or require that a detailed risk assessment be undertaken with regard to the riders, officials and spectators attending the event.

“The organiser must ensure that the use of such equipment on the venue of the event is explicitly foreseen and communicated and fully covered by the relevant insurance carrier.

“Finally, organisers shall take appropriate measures to ensure that aircrafts, including drones and other small aircrafts, are not used by third persons without being duly authorised and do not impede on sporting operations or the exploitation of third-party rights (e.g. image or media rights).”

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