• Locations of known permanent kite flying sites are detailed in the UK Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) section ENR 5.5 (available on the NATS Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) website).

    In accordance with Article 92 of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 (as amended), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Airspace Regulation issues permissions for kite flying at heights greater than 60 metres Above Ground Level (AGL).

    Notification to CAA Airspace Regulation

    Proposed additions or changes to the UK AIP list of permanent sites (in ENR 5.5) should follow the process detailed in CAP 1618: Airspace Design: Unusual aerial activities published in the UK AIP.

    For temporary notifications, please complete and submit the notification form.

    For activities requiring a formal CAA permission, a minimum of 14 days’ notice is requested.  During periods of high workload, we may be unable to process notifications made with less than the stated minimum notice.

    If it is a recurring event/activity, please quote the previous CAA activity reference number (if known) when completing the notification form.

    After you submit the notification form, you will receive an automated email confirmation that the details have been received.

    When the notification is received, the details are checked to ensure all required information has been provided in line with regulatory/policy requirements.  The event/activity is then compared against other known activity where we would support the co-ordination and deconfliction of any conflicting activities.  If clarification of the details is required, we will contact you via the email address that was provided in the notification form.

    CAA Airspace Regulation output

    Our output is likely to consist of one or more of the following:

    • NOTAM 

      For most activities of this type, we issue NOTAM to notify other airspace users.  NOTAM are notices containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations.  Further details of the NOTAM system are in the UK AIP section GEN 3.1 (available on the NATS AIS website) and in the UK NOTAM Guidance Material.
    • Permission

      For kite flying at heights greater than 60 metres AGL, we will need to issue a permission.

    Lighting and marking of kites

    Each permission will include the following lighting and marking recommendations

    Flying of kites during the day

    A kite flying at a height exceeding 60 metres AGL should have either:

    • tubular streamers attached to the string which are: not less than 40 centimetres in diameter and 2 metres in length, marked with alternate bands of red and white which are 50 centimetres wide, at intervals of not more than 200 metres measured from the lowest part of the kite; or
    • streamers not less than 80 centimetres long and 30 centimetres wide at their widest point, marked with alternate bands of red and white which are 10 centimetres wide, at intervals of not more than 100 metres measured from the lowest part of the kite

    Flying of kites at night

    A kite flying at a height exceeding 60 metres AGL should display lights in the following manner:

    • A group of two steady lights should be displayed, consisting of a white light placed four metres above a red light, both being of at least five candela and showing in all directions. The white light should be placed not less than five metres and no more than ten metres below the lowest part of the kite;
    • On the kite string, at intervals of not more than 300 metres from the group of lights described above, should be further groups of two lights of the colour, power, and relative position as described above;
    • If the lowest group of these lights is obscured by cloud, an additional group of such lights should be displayed below the cloud base.
    • On the surface of the ground, a group of three flashing lights should be displayed in an approximately equilateral triangle in a horizontal plane. Each side of this triangle should measure at least 25 metres. One side of the triangle should be approximately at right angles to the horizontal projection of the kite string, and this side should be defined by two red lights. The third light should be green and placed so that the triangle encloses the object on the surface from which the kite is flown.

    We will endeavour to respond at least 14 days prior to the proposed start of the event/activity.  When enquiring about the status of an outstanding notification, please always quote the reference number that you received in the automated email confirmation.

    We will respond by email to the address that was provided in the notification form.  The email will explain whether or not the notification has been successfully processed and specify any conditions/restrictions that need to be imposed for flight safety reasons.  Additional advice/guidance may be included.  If a formal CAA permission is issued, it will be attached to the email message.

    CAA Airspace Regulation do not currently charge for this work.  Full details of CAA charges can be found in the Scheme of Charges.

  • If your event/activity is changed or cancelled, please inform Airspace Regulation as soon as possible.  If Airspace Regulation have already completed the assessment of the event/activity and provided you with a detailed response, please quote the activity reference number that was used in our email to you.

    For changes, appropriate re-assessment and notification action will be undertaken.  For cancellations, we will take action to cancel any output already published.

    However, please bear in mind that, during periods of high workload, we may be unable to action changes/cancellations made at short notice.

  • Responsibilities of the event/activity sponsor

    The CAA’s response to the sponsor does not constitute permission to disregard the legitimate interests of site landowners, other statutory bodies such as the Police and Emergency Services, the Highway Agency, local authorities (and their agents) or any other statutory body.  It is the sponsor/operator’s responsibility to ensure that those interests are taken into consideration before going ahead with the event/activity.

    The event/activity sponsor/operator is ultimately responsible for flight safety and must comply with the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 (as amended) articles relating to endangerment:

    • Article 240 - Endangering safety of an aircraft

      A person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft.
    • Article 241 - Endangering safety of any person or property

      A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.

    ANO Article 265 provides that it is a criminal offence to contravene EC Regulations as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the ANO or Regulations made under the Order.  Further information can be found in CAP 1422: Code of Practice for the Investigations and Enforcement Team.

    The sponsor/operator is responsible for the event/activity complying with all relevant national regulations. 

    Please refer to the relevant event/activity page for more specific guidance

  • Contact us

    If you have any questions, please contact Airspace Regulation between the hours of 08:30 and 16:30 Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays).  It may not be possible to action messages/notifications submitted after 16:00 until the next working day.

    Planned periods of extended closure of the Airspace Regulation section will be notified here:

    Nil