• Anyone looking to fly a kite at significant heights in the UK should ensure that they comply with important safety rules. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of any aircraft flying in the vicinity.

    Flight above 60 metres

    Anyone flying a kite at a height greater than 60 metres above the surface requires a permission from the CAA. Where permission has been granted for kite flyers to operate at heights greater than 300 feet (91.4 metres) above the surface, the CAA will also issue a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to forewarn other airspace users of the potential hazard. The regulations for kite activity in the UK are contained in Article 92 of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016.

    How to apply for a permission

    The organiser or operator must complete the application form, giving at least 28 days’ notice and return to the Safety and Airspace Regulation Group at the CAA. Contact details are given on the form.

    There are no costs associated with gaining a permission to operate a kite above 60 metres.

    Lighting and markings when flying above 60 metres

    The current recommendations for kites are as follows. Each kite permission that is issued will include the relevant parts of this guidance.

    Flying of kites during the day

    A kite flying at a height exceeding 60 metres above ground level 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 above ground level 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.