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Where can drones fly?

The CAA manages all UK airspace and governs where drones can and can't fly. The rules cover
anybody who is operating a drone commercially, irrespective of its size or weight. They are designed
to help us undertake our operations safely by maintaining safe distances from those on the ground and other air users.

The basic rules...

The CAA issues a standard set of restrictions to all companies.  The basic rules, which apply in all situations are:

  • We need the landowners permission to take off and land on their property.  That may be our client, a private individual, a company or a local authority.
  • Once in the air, we can fly up to 120m (400ft) above ground level and up to 500m away.
  • The pilot must be able to see the drone at all times.
  • We can’t fly over or within 150m of any gathering of more than 1000 people.
  • We must adhere to a number of exclusion zones throughout the UK.

Privacy

We need to be mindful of people’s privacy during our operations.  People in public spaces in the UK have no automatic right to privacy therefore cannot prevent filming either on the ground or in the air.  However, those on private property, if not being filmed from a public area,  would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, therefore they can’t be filmed or photographed without permission.  However, It’s worth understanding that you can only invade an individual’s privacy, not their property.  We are registered with the Information Commissioners Office as a Data Manager.

People, Vessels, Vehicles and Structures

When we are flying close to what the CAA calls “a person, vessel, vehicle or structure” (people, buildings, cars, masts, boats etc) the rules differ, depending upon whether we can control those around us or not.

Without their cooperation, we must stay 50m away from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under our control.  Providing we can maintain safe working distances this does allow us to work within congested and built up areas.

If we gain the cooperation of those we are flying near, and they agree to be under our control for the duration of the flight, we can fly as close to them as our pilot deems safe.

Finally, if there is a need to operate outside these parameters, depending upon the location, we may be able to make a safety case which we can put to the CAA who may grant us a non-standard flight plan for a particular assignment.

Leave it to us

The bottom line is that once we know the location you want us to fly at, we’ll do the rest.