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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.

Rules and regulations are in place that pilots, air traffic controllers, aircraft engineers and others have to follow to ensure the highest levels of aviation safety.

If you think you have witnessed a breach of one of these rules or regulations then you can report it to us.

To report a drone being flown dangerously contact the police on 101. This includes a drone being flown higher than 400ft or close to an airport. To report a drone infringing controlled or restricted airspace use the form below.

What we can investigate

We actively encourage suspected wrongdoing to be reported, however we do not have the resources to conduct a full investigation in all cases.

All reports are assessed for available evidence and the impact on safety before a decision is taken whether to undertake a full investigation.

If there is sufficient evidence (such as the aircraft registration) then we may conduct an investigation.

Once we have conducted an initial review we will contact you to let you know whether we will be taking action. Due to the high number of reports we will not necessarily be able to contact you within the normal 20 working day timescale but will be in touch once our initial review has been completed.

  • Low flying
    In general, except when necessary for take-off or landing, an aircraft should be 1,000 ft over a built-up area or otherwise 500ft from people, vehicles, vessels and structures. Note that the legislation does not mention animals.
    It is extremely difficult to judge aircraft height above the ground and distance from objects but if you have evidence of the height/distance, such as photographs or videos, we may be able to investigate (see note).
    To enable us to trace the aircraft concerned you would ideally have its registration; for UK aircraft this is normally G- followed by four letters.

Note: When using FlightRadar24 as a position source, it should be noted that, as the FlightRadar24 website explains, the altitude displayed is not necessarily indicative of an aircraft's height above ground. FlightRadar24 is therefore not considered to be a reliable evidential source of an aircraft's position.

  • Unsafe flying
    We can investigate incidents of unsafe flying. Examples include unapproved and dangerous low aerobatics or a helicopter landing in a place that puts people or property in danger (helicopters are allowed to land away from airfields providing they can do so safely, and they have the requisite permission from the landowner and / or the CAA, in certain circumstances).
    You need to provide evidence of the incident and to enable us to track the aircraft concerned you would ideally have its registration. For UK aircraft this is normally G- followed by four letters.

Other examples we can investigate include aircraft flying without the correct approvals; companies or individuals charging for flights without the correct certificates; pilots flying without the correct licences and engineers undertaking unapproved work.

Complaints dealt with by other agencies

  • Drones
    If you think a drone is being flown dangerously then please immediately contact the local police on 101.
  • Low flying military aircraft
    For complaints about low flying military aircraft contact SWK-lowflying@mod.gov.uk or call 01780 417 558
  • Criminal activities and security risks
    If you think an aircraft is being used for criminal purposes or is a security risk then immediately contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or call your local police on 101 and quote Project Pegasus.

How to report a potential breach of aviation law

If you think you have witnessed a breach of aviation law then you can make a report online.

Please do not include the personal details of other witnesses, or their contact details, in your online report, unless you have first obtained their permission. Other witnesses should be encouraged to fill in their own separate reports as it is important for us to be able to assess all information or evidence which could be useful to the investigation.

Other issues you may wish to report