The Rules for Drone Operators

The following is an extract of the applicable Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules and regulations to small drones w.r.t distances. Note: this is just an extract, please refer to the CAA as the official source of these rules and see CAP 393 - the Air Navigation Order and details of the 2018 ANO Amendment for the latest version of rules that apply.

Article 94

  1. A person must not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.
  2. The remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.
  3. The remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.
  4. If a small unmanned aircraft has a mass of more than 7 kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, the SUA operator must not cause or permit the aircraft to be flown, and the remote pilot in charge of the aircraft must not fly it - (a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained; (b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained. (4A) Paragraph (4) does not apply to any flight within the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome (within the meaning given in article 94B)
  5. The SUA operator must not cause or permit a small unmanned aircraft to be flown for the purposes of commercial operations, and the remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly it for the purposes of commercial operations, except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA

Article 94A

  1. The SUA operator must not cause or permit a small unmanned aircraft to be flown at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface, and the remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly it at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface, unless the permission of the CAA has been obtained.
  2. This article does not apply to any flight within the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome (within the meaning given in article 94B).

Article 94B

  1. This article applies to a flight by a small unmanned aircraft within the flight restriction zone of a protected aerodrome
  2. The “flight restriction zone” of a protected aerodrome consists of the following two
    zones - (a) the “Inner Zone”, which is the area within, and including, the boundary of the aerodrome; (b) the “Outer Zone”, which is the area between the boundary of the aerodrome and a line that is 1 km from the boundary of the aerodrome (the “1 km line”)
  3. In the circumstances set out in an entry in column 1 of the following table (a) the SUA operator must not cause or permit the small unmanned aircraft to be flown in the Inner Zone or the Outer Zone; and (b) the remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly it in the Inner Zone or the
    Outer Zone. if the flight breaches a flight restriction set out in the entry in column 3 of the table which
    relates to that zone in those circumstances
  4. The 1 km line is to be drawn so that the area which is bounded by it includes every location that is 1 km from the boundary of the aerodrome, measured in any direction from any point on the boundary.
  5. In this article, “protected aerodrome” means (a) an EASA certified aerodrome; (b) a Government aerodrome; (c) a national licensed aerodrome; or (d)an aerodrome that is prescribed or of a prescribed description.

ARTICLE 241

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

Article 95

  1. The SUA operator must not cause or permit a small unmanned surveillance aircraft to be flown in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2), and the remote pilot of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly it in any of those circumstances, except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.
  2. The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are: (a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area; (b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons; (c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or (d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.
  3. Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.
  4. Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the remote pilot of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the remote pilot of the aircraft.
  5. In this article 'a small unmanned surveillance aircraft' means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.

Some noteworthy definitions:

  • Congested Area - any area of a city, town or settlement which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft - any unmanned aircraft, other than a balloon or a kite, having a mass of not more than 20kg without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.
  • Commercial Operation - For the purposes of this Order, “commercial operation” means any flight by a small unmanned aircraft except a flight for public transport, or any operation of any other aircraft except an operation for public transport - (a) which is available to the public; or (b) which, when not made available to be public - (i) in the case of a flight by a small unmanned aircraft, is performed under a contract between an operator and a customer, where the latter has no control over the remote pilot; or (ii) in any other case, is performed under a contract between an operator and a customer, where the latter has no control over the operator, in return for remuneration or other valuable consideration.

How have NoFlyDrones Determined the INNER AND OUTER ZONES?

These have been determined through use of Google Maps / Streetview / Earth and the Aerodrome Section of the AIP (i.e. the AD Charts). It is a manual exercise and as such is subject to error and should only be used as an initial assessment. Please ensure you contact the airfield to determine if the flight is within or outside any of the flight restriction zones.