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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

PDRA01 authorises you to fly Unmanned Aircraft (UA) between 250g and 25kg in residential, commercial, industrial and recreational areas.

You must only fly within visual line of sight (VLOS).

Without a PDRA01, you must keep at least 150m away from residential, recreational, commercial and industrial areas. This includes remote buildings in rural areas.

PDRA01 150m area restriction

But with a PDRA01, you can fly in residential, recreational, commercial and industrial areas.

PDRA01 areas allowed

Cost and period of authorisation

PDRA01 costs £234 per year.

There's no VAT to pay.

Your authorisation will last for 12 months.

PDRA01 conditions and limits

What you can fly

Model of Unmanned Aircraft System

  • Any (rotary wing and/or fixed wing) Unmanned Aircraft with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) or flying weight of less than 25kg.

Where and when you can fly


  • Flights may be conducted within 150m of any residential, commercial, industrial, and/or recreational area.


  • Any location in the UK, subject to the airspace restrictions set out in this authorisation.

Operating times

  • 24 hours a day. Night operations must be carried out in accordance with the procedures in the operating manual.


  • Flights must not be conducted within any applicable airspace restriction unless the appropriate permission to enter has been obtained. This includes: flight restriction zones (FRZs) around protected aerodromes and space sites; restricted, prohibited and danger areas (including temporary restrictions); and any other applicable restrictions.

Altitude, heights and levels

  • The Unmanned Aircraft must be maintained within 120 metres (400ft) from the closest point of the surface of the earth.
  • Obstacles taller than 105m may be overflown by a maximum of 15m under the following conditions:
    • the person in charge of the obstacle must have requested this; and
    • the UAS must not be flown more than 50m horizontally from the obstruction.

Maximum operating range

  • Flights must be conducted within VLOS as per the definition given in UK Reg (EU) 2019/947, Article 2(7) and must not exceed 500m from the Remote Pilot.
  • When operating within VLOS as defined in UK Reg (EU) 2019/947, Article 2(7), the Remote Pilot may be assisted by a competent observer who must be co-located with the Remote Pilot and able to communicate with them clearly and effectively. If present, the observer must maintain VLOS as per the definition given in UK Reg (EU) 2019/947, Article 2(7) at all times.
  • In order to remain within VLOS, as defined in UK Reg (EU) 2019/947, Article 2(7), the Remote Pilot may only change location during the flight, if still able to maintain control of the UAS at all times, and maintain situational awareness and orientation, as set out in the VLOS definition. This must be described within the Operations Manual procedures, if required.

Distances from people

Separation from uninvolved persons

  • Flights must not be carried out within 50m of uninvolved persons, except during take-off and landing, where this separation may be reduced to 30m.
  • Any overflight of uninvolved people must be kept to a minimum.
  • Flights must not be carried out within 50m horizontal separation of assemblies of people. Any overflight of assemblies of people must not be conducted.
    • Lone Remote Pilots must have an appropriately set maximum allowed distance from launch/pilot and an appropriately set minimum return to home (RTH) battery level. (A lone Remote Pilot is a Remote Pilot who does not have any support crew next to them during the flight).
  • Horizontal separation between the Unmanned Aircraft and assemblies of people must not be less than the height of the UAS (i.e., the 1:1 rule).

Loads and equipment

Security of loads and equipment

  • The Remote Pilot must ensure that any load carried by, or equipment on, the Unmanned Aircraft is properly secured, and that the aircraft is in a safe condition for the specific flight.
  • Articles must not be dropped.
  • Dangerous goods must not be carried.

Remote Pilots and Operators

Remote Pilot requirements

  • Remote Pilots must:
    • be employed or contracted by the UAS Operator,
    • hold a valid UK Flyer ID,
    • hold a valid GVC,
    • follow the requirements of UK Reg (EU) 2019/947, point UAS.SPEC.060, and
    • be qualified as per the requirements of the Operations Manual.

Operator requirements

  • The UAS Operator must:
    • comply with the responsibilities set out in UK Reg (EU) 2019/947, point UAS.SPEC.050,
    • maintain records of each flight made under the Operational Authorisation, and
    • make such records available to the Civil Aviation Authority on request as per UK Reg (EU) 2019/947, point UAS.SPEC.090.

Other conditions

Occurrence reporting

  • Any occurrences that take place while operating under this Authorisation must be reported in accordance with UK Reg (EU) 376/2014 and the requirements set out in CAP 722 section 2.7.
  • Any accidents that take place while operating under this Authorisation must be reported in accordance with UK Reg (EU) 996/2010 to the UK AAIB.


  • Insurance cover meeting the requirements of UK Reg (EU) 785/2004 must be held.

Control system failure

  • The Unmanned Aircraft must be equipped with a mechanism that will cause it to land in the event of a disruption to, or a failure of, any of its control systems, including the C2 Link.
  • The Remote Pilot must ensure that this mechanism is in working order before any flight is commenced.

Radio spectrum

  • The UAS Operator must ensure that the radio spectrum used for the C2 Link and for any payload communications complies with the relevant Ofcom requirements and that any licences required for its operation have been obtained.

High energy devices

  • The UAS Operator must ensure high energy devices are appropriately stored and transported.

Operator ID

  • The Operator ID must be displayed on every aircraft flown under this Operational Authorisation.

Operating from moving vehicles

  • The Remote Pilot must not operate the UAS while operating any moving vehicle, or while in an aircraft.
  • The Remote Pilot may operate the Unmanned Aircraft from a moving vehicle as a passenger (excluding in an aircraft) as long as the vehicle’s speed and stability are such that the Remote Pilot is able to maintain VLOS and control of the Unmanned Aircraft at all times.

Supporting information


  • Taking and storing images of identifiable individuals from UAS, even inadvertently, may be subject to the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.
  • More information is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Operating from private land

  • You must get any applicable permission before flying from privately owned sites. You must not trespass.

Oversight and enforcement

Contact and operations manual details

You must tell us if any of your contact details or operations manual details change.

Oversight and enforcement

You may be selected for an audit at any time.

We may ask to see your operations manual and supporting records, such as aircraft technical logs and flight logs, at any time. You must provide any relevant documents at our request, within the period we specify.

If you fail to meet this or any other requirement, we may revoke your authorisation or suspend it until you provide the information we require.

This page gives the conditions for a PDRA01 Operational Authorisation. Full details, including the underlying risk assessment, are in PDRA requirements, guidance and policy, CAP 722H.