What Qualifications Do You Need to Fly a Drone Light Show?

A drone light show, also known as a drone display or drone show, have become increasingly popular in recent years. Drone displays provide a stunning aerial display of lights choreographed to music or other visual effects. These shows require skilled pilots to operate the drones safely and effectively. 

What qualifications do you need to fly a Drone Light Show?

First and foremost, drone pilots need to be licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the United Kingdom or an equivalent regulatory body in other countries. This is typically achieved by passing a knowledge test and demonstrating proficiency in flying a drone. 

The CAA requires drone pilots working as “operators” to be at least 18 years old and pass an online test.

Special Drone Light Show Training

In addition to a drone pilot license, drone light show pilots must have specialised training and experience in flying drones for aerial shows. This includes knowledge of how to program drones for specific manoeuvres and timing and the ability to operate a system controlling multiple drones at once. 

At Electric Airshows, the company is led by a fully qualified instrument-rated aircraft pilot, which differentiates us from other drone light show companies.

Airspace Regulations and Safety Procedures

Electric Airshows’ pilots need to have a strong understanding of airspace regulations and safety procedures.

They must be able to navigate complex airspace and work with air traffic controllers to ensure the safety of the drones and any nearby aircraft. Additionally, they must have a keen eye for detail and be able to quickly identify and troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise during a show. 

Only Electric Airshows, acting in the UK have fully qualified pilots who can speak with Air Traffic Control and are licensed to do so. This sets us apart from the other operators.


Finally, drone display pilots should have a creative eye for design and visual effects. They work closely with show producers and designers to bring their vision to life through drones. This may involve designing complex flight patterns and manoeuvres and incorporating visual effects such as LED lights and smoke.

Do I Need a Degree to be a Drone Light Show Pilot?

While formal education is not necessarily required to become a drone display pilot, many professionals in this field have backgrounds in engineering, computer science, or related fields. These backgrounds can help us understand the technical aspects of drone flight and programming.

At Electric Airshows, our pilots tend to have come from the entertainment industry, some with many decades of live event and show experience. Thus, we blend a unique balance of technical proficiency, pilot knowledge and event experience to provide a level of service our clients find reassuring. 

How Do I Become a Drone Light Show Pilot?

To become a drone light show pilot, you will need a drone pilot license, specialised training and experience in aerial shows, a strong understanding of airspace regulations and safety procedures, technical troubleshooting skills, and a creative eye for design and visual effects.

While becoming a pilot may not be straightforward, it can be a rewarding and exciting career for those passionate about technology, creativity, and aviation.

If you want to become a drone light show pilot or want more information, contact us today.

Client testimonials

Electric Airshows integrated a Drone Light Show element to our fireworks and multimedia extravaganza, bringing a new creative medium to the skies above our venue.

Chris Carter, Merlin Entertainments

To fly the nation state flag, offshore, at such short notice, bought to our event an element never previously seen and made a huge impact on social media

Dashka Tolkecheva, UA Events

Working with Electric Airshows added a dynamic drone light show element to our private show, which alongside the fireworks and pyrotechnics created a new multi dimensional experience for our guests.

Jon Kellett, Starlight Design

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