Before reading this guidance, please refer to the information about all aspects of unmanned aviation and ensure that you have complied with all the relevant regulations/requirements.
This page provides guidance on the airspace notification aspects of a UAS event or activity.
Locations of some permanent model flying sites are detailed in the UK Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) section ENR 5.5 (available on the NATS Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) website).
Notification to CAA Airspace Regulation
Proposed additions or changes to the UK AIP list of permanent model flying sites should follow the process detailed in CAP 1618: Airspace Design: Unusual aerial activities published in the UK AIP.
For airspace notifications of UAS operating Visual Line Of Sight or Beyond Visual Line Of Sight using visual observers, please complete and submit the notification form.
For airspace notifications of UAS operating Beyond Visual Line Of Sight requiring segregation, please contact Airspace Regulation as soon as possible for further advice and guidance.
For activities requiring Notice to aviation (NOTAM) action only (please see below for an explanation of NOTAM), a minimum notice of 5 working days prior to the intended start time should be provided. During periods of high workload, we may be unable to process notifications made with less than the stated minimum notice.
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 may consist of the following:
A NOTAM is a Notice to Aviation 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.
With the recent update to the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 (as amended), operations of Visual Line Of Sight UAS below 400 feet above ground level are no longer deemed to be unusual aerial activity and therefore are not always required to be subject to NOTAM action. However, there are instances where a NOTAM is appropriate (such as those detailed below) or where a sponsor may wish to operate with a NOTAM in place. Requests for a NOTAM should be made by completing and submitting the notification form.
UAS operations in the vicinity of locations such as Hospitals should have an associated NOTAM due to the nature of helicopter operations that may be taking place, which are often unannounced and operating under high priority for medical reasons. UAS operators/sponsors should take this into consideration when planning such operations and conduct prior co-ordination with the relevant Hospital(s) and/or Air Ambulance operator(s), if appropriate.
UAS operations in the vicinity of other locations, such as racetracks or known helicopter landing sites may be subject to NOTAM action.
Advice and guidance on NOTAM action can be obtained from Airspace Regulation.
We will endeavour to provide a response. However, during periods of high workload, it may not be possible to respond to every notification. Valid NOTAM can be viewed on the NATS AIS website. When enquiring about the status of an outstanding notification, please always quote the reference number that you received in the automated email confirmation.
Subject to workload, 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. Additional advice/guidance may be included.
CAA Airspace Regulation do not currently charge for this work. Please refer to the CAA pages containing information about all aspects of unmanned aviation for other elements of the CAA’s work associated with UAS. 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 aircraftA 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.
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