References to EU regulation or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate description of your obligations or rights under UK law.read more
A number of airspace
restrictions exist within the UK and these apply equally to both unmanned and
manned aircraft. These areas are referred to as either: Prohibited Areas,
Restricted Areas or Danger Areas.
Most of these areas
are ‘permanent’, in that their restrictions apply at all times and they are marked
on aviation charts but other portions of airspace may become temporarily
restricted, either as a result of a longer term pre-planned event, or in
reaction to a short notice occurrence, such as an emergency incident.
Further details can be
found in the UK Aeronautical Information Package (UK AIP) at the
NATS Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) website. General
airspace rules and procedures can be found at section ENR 1.1, and specific
‘Navigation Warnings’ can be found at section and ENR 5. The table below
describes which airspace restrictions apply to UAS. Some restrictions may be
established at short notice, so UAS operators and remote pilots must check for
any restrictions, every time they fly. A
number of apps are available, such as
‘Drone Assist’ which can be accessed through the
airspace requirements (Class A,B,C,D,E) do not apply to UAS operating within
the Open category (i.e. below 400ft/120m), any UAS operating above this height
will, within the terms of the authorisation, be required to obtain permission
from the relevant air traffic service provider.
Flights of unmanned
aircraft around aerodromes that are designated as ‘protected aerodromes’ are
restricted. Unmanned aircraft of any size must not be flown within the Flight
Restriction Zone (FRZ) of a protected aerodrome, without appropriate
The Flight Restriction Zone consists of the following three elements:
- A zone with the same dimensions as the Aerodrome Traffic Zone: A 2 or
2.5 nautical mile radius ‘cylinder’ around the aerodrome, extending 2000 ft
above ground level, centred on the longest runway.
- Runway Protection Zones: A
rectangle extending 5Km from the threshold of each runway away from the
aerodrome, along the extended runway centreline, and 500m either side - also
to a height of 2000 ft above ground level.
- Additional Zones: In the
case where a line that is drawn 1Km beyond the boundary of an aerodrome extends
beyond the Aerodrome traffic zone, and so would not be protected by it, the
flight restriction zone will include a ‘bump’ (the airfield boundary + 1KM) to
protect this part of the aerodrome.
The exact shape of
the Flight Restriction Zone varies depending on the specific aerodrome that it
protects. Prior to flight, remote pilots should check to ensure that they are
operating well outside these areas. This may be obtained from official sources:
The Dronesafe website contains an interactive
map, which shows the all the Aerodrome FRZs.
Other UAS mapping and planning websites
exist, which also contain this information.
The list of
protected aerodromes also includes heliports, these only comprise the circular
(ATZ) portion of the FRZ (and additional zones where applicable), and do not
include runway protection zones.
In the case of a
protected aerodrome without an ATZ, the FRZ includes an ATZ shaped FRZ, with a
2nm radius (regardless of the runway length).
must be obtained from the relevant person before an unmanned aircraft may fly
within a Flight Restriction Zone. This person is usually whoever is ‘in the
Tower’ (i.e. an Air Traffic Controller or Airfield Flight Information Service
Officer’. If neither of these are available, because the airfield has closed or
there was no ATC/AFIS provision in the first place, then permission must be
sought from the Aerodrome Operator.
Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS)
Control or the Aerodrome Flight Information Service
(i.e. the person in the tower)
The Aerodrome Operator
(i.e. the aerodrome operations office)
Air Ground Radio
No form of Air
Traffic provision at all
If you have been denied
access to a portion of airspace, and feel that your request was not considered
appropriately, you can report this to the CAA
regulations only address the flight safety aspects of the flight and they do not
constitute permission to disregard the legitimate interests of other statutory
bodies such as the Police and Emergency Services, the Highway Agency, local
authorities or any other statutory body. As the range and scale of
unmanned aircraft operations continues to grow, statutory bodies are
increasingly aware of how unmanned aircraft operations will affect their areas
of responsibility and are developing specific policy, guidelines and byelaws.
circumstances, the operation of UAS falls within the remit of non-aviation
national legislation, and local byelaws, for example public-order offences, ensuring pedestrian
and vehicle rights-of-way, security and safety in public places and at schools,
limits on recreational activities in public parks etc.
operators should also be mindful of the requirements of Section 76(1) of the
Civil Aviation Act 1982 in relation to trespass and nuisance, noting that they
must comply, at all times, with the relevant UAS operating regulations.
should be flown at a height over the property of another person which is
‘reasonable’ in all circumstances. Failure to do so could amount to trespass if
the flight interferes with another person’s ordinary use and enjoyment of land
and the structures upon it.
Read all @UK_CAA
UK Civil Aviation Authority reports on accessibility progress at UK airports
3 December, 2020
Singapore and the United Kingdom commence trials to improve public health safety for air crew
6 July, 2020
99% of Thomas Cook claims now settled
18 April, 2020
Read all News
International Civil Aviation Day
7 December, 2020
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
1 December, 2020
Read All Blogs