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Beverly Hills Aerials, LIV Golf Make Australian-Broadcast History by Flying Live Drones Over People in Adelaide

LIV Adelaide had estimated over 100,000 people in attendance making this an exceptionally difficult approval to secure.

In a historic moment for live production in Australia, Beverly Hills Aerials’ drone operations over people were approved for the LIV Golf Adelaide event at The Grange Golf Club last month. Beverly Hills Aerials flew two drones simultaneously on the course, creating one-of-a-kind, never-before-scene drone shots of the unique environment for the LIV Golf’s worldside broadcast.

Beverly Hills Aerials, a provider of complex international drone operations, spearheaded this approval and started planning over 12 months in advance while working closely with CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority for Australia). Typically in Australia, standard drone operations require a 30-meter separation from all people and do not allow flights in populous areas. LIV Adelaide had estimated over 100,000 people in attendance making this an exceptionally difficult approval to secure.

Moreover, operating in standard operating conditions was impossible due to the large crowds. In order to make this possible, the Beverly Hills Aerials team applied for multiple exemptions allowing them to fly over people. Part of this approval required using parachutes systems from an ATSB approved company, which have remote control triggers and can be remotely triggered from miles away.

Established in 2015 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills Aerials has successfully and without a single safety incident, filmed the highest profile events in the USA, Canada, UK, EU, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Thailand, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. Other recent live events include multiple Super Bowls, Indy 500’s, PGA events, Daytona 500’s, World Series and Kentucky Derbys.

“I hold the most advanced drone pilot licenses and have executed multiple projects in more countries than anyone I have ever met or heard of — USA, Canada, UK, EU, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia to name a few,” says Michael Izquierdo Chief Remote Pilot, Beverly Hills Aerials. “And I can say, hands down, Australia has the toughest requirements and I wish more countries followed suit. Receiving an Australian drone pilot license takes a week of classes, eight hours of monitored flying, written and practical flying exams, thousands of dollars and a three-hour interview with a CASA inspector. And that’s all before you can even apply for exemptions for more advanced operations which took another 100 hours of paperwork, and several more thousands of dollars. Australia does a really great job of maintaining a high level of standards with their pilots.

Now in its third season, LIV golf has prided itself on deploying cutting edge technology for its broadcasts. This includes drone tracer shots that show the path of the ball in real time as its hit, and LIV line shots where the path of putts are shown. In order to get these shots and many others, BHA was required to repeatedly fly directly over people and players safely.

“With this particular very important client – LIV – it was critical we not only obtained a good approval, but rather an exceptional approval that allowed us to do things to be able to showcase their technology,” says Izquierdo. “LIV golf is focused on cutting edge tech and we are doing a lot of things that have never been done before.”

Izquierdo says that it’s quite common for clients to call on BHA for the most complex, difficult, high profile jobs that many other providers aren’t will or able to accommodate. However, when received the request from LIV, Izquierdo and co. were “happy to get to work and figured it out.”

“At the end of the day it was actually quite enjoyable to go through the intricate process, and learn more in depth about a craft I love,” he adds. “CASA takes their drone laws seriously and creates their safety laws in very intelligent manners and I profoundly respect the efficient processes they have in place vs other countries. I will without a doubt take a lot of what I learned about safety and apply it to our operations worldwide.”

In the end CASA approved BHA to fly over people, with a drone and parachute system the agency had not previously approved while following very specific safety guidelines. The ability to fly over people at low attitudes allowed BHA to capture a plethora of spectacular shots that Izquierdo belives would have been impossible for any other type of camera platform – especially considering the massive size of the crowds on hand at the course.

“This specific LIV event contained the largest crowds we have ever seen on a golf course; the fans were incredibly dynamic and full of energy,” says Izquierdo.It was genuinely the first time I felt like I was at a professional golf sports event and not a standard golf game which is traditionally different from other sports in that they require silence in a lot of high tension moments. LIV is truly “golf but louder” and I love it. Flying a drone around a high pressure moment with golf with fans vehemently cheering was an explosive experience I will never forget. I cannot wait to go back next year.


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