You'll need to get permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or an organisation acting on its behalf if you want to do either of the following:
• fly a drone or model aircraft that is above 20kg• legally fly outside the rules in this Code
The type of permission you need depends on:
• the size and type of drone or model aircraft you want to fly• where you want to fly• how high you want to fly• whether you want to fly for a hobby or for commercial reasons
You can find out more about permissions and exemptions at the Civil Aviation Authority website.
If you want to fly for commercial reasons, you’ll need to get a permission from the CAA.
Commercial means using a drone or model aircraft in return for payment in any way. For example, if someone pays you to record or take photos of an event.
If you already have a permission, such as a PfCO (permission for commercial operations) you may be exempt from taking the test until 30 June 2020, General Exemption E 4956.
Within the CAA the oversight of model aircraft is now being undertaken by our Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Unit. The two activities that this affects are model aircraft displays and the flight of model aircraft greater than 20Kg. In the short term very little will change but we have updated the two main application forms for these activities which can be found at:
Please use these forms from now on to make sure they reach the UAS team.
We will now be meeting much more frequently with the model aircraft representative bodies to develop future regulation.
The current edition of the guide to safe model aircraft flying CAP658 will be replaced in due course with a new volume of the unmanned aircraft guide CAP722 and so CAP658 will not be updated from now on.
For any questions please now contact the UAS unit at firstname.lastname@example.org
21 August 2019 – We have
just issued a General
Permission (ORS4 No.1311) which rectifies
an unintended consequence relating to permissions and exemptions issued prior
to 13 March 2019 (when the 2019 amendment to Air Navigation Order came into
force) regarding the text related to the requirements for flight above 400 feet
within the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome.
23 July 2019 - A new edition of CAP 722 has been published. The update follows amendments
to the Air Navigation Order and splits the content into three separate
21 June 2019 - We have published an outline of the new EU unmanned aircraft regulations: CAP 1789 The EU UAS Regulation Package OutlineIt includes a simple explanation of the general intent behind the key parts of the regulations and our plans for their implementation within the UK next year. And is intended to be used as an aid to reading and understanding the regulations themselves.
12 April 2019 – We have published guidance to aerodrome operators and providers of ATS at aerodromes with FRZs, to more fully inform their decision to grant or deny permission for small unmanned aircraft to operate within their Flight Restriction Zones (FRZs): CAP1788 SUA Permission Guidance
20 February 2019 – Following the amendment to the ANO that will enter into force on 13 March 2019, we have published guidance for small unmanned aircraft users with an outline of the revised regulations as they will now appear in law; to provide guidance on the effects of the changes; and how they will be interpreted by the CAA. This guidance replaces CAP1687, which is now cancelled.
8 January 2019 – The Department for Transport has now published its response to the consultation on future drone legislation that it conducted last summer. The report can be found at
21 November - After reviewing evidence from DJI, we are in a place to remove some of the current restrictions if an operator can successfully apply the DJI workaround (and verify this). We do ask that all operators still proceed with caution and immediately return to home or hover if the device
doesn’t behave as expected. We continue to monitor this issue daily, working with DJI and reviewing operator feedback. We welcome any thing further from operators on this matter. Please follow the link to access our new safety notice:
January 2018 - The CAA has published
an assessment of the drone safety risk.
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