Drones are simply unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that can be controlled remotely by people on the ground. Initially, drones were only designed to be used exclusively by the military when it needs to undertake a mission that will prove to be too dangerous for a manned aircraft. However, in recent times, drones are not just used by the military; they are also used by different people for different purposes such as commercial purposes.
Although, it is legal to use drones in the United Kingdom, there are rules and regulations that must be followed in order to make sure that it safe and legal. The use of drones for other purposes apart from the military is relatively new, so the done codes are constantly changing. This is why it is important to keep yourself up to date on the latest changes in the drone code.
The drone code in the United Kingdom is regulated by the U.K.’s National aviation authority, the Civil Aviation Authority of the U.K. (CAA). The drone codes in UK include;
DRONE CODE FOR SPECIAL TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE UK
- When you are traveling to the United Kingdom with your drone, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has developed special considerations for foreigners that want to fly their drones in the UK. On a normal occasion, the CAA will be able to allow foreign operators to fly their drone in the UK, but if they are unable to satisfy the same basic safety requirements that are required for UK based people that fly drones.
- The CAA does not automatically accept drone approvals or qualifications from other countries as valid. If you want to fly your drone in the UK, you will need to acquire a valid UK permission, if you are conducting a legal kind of flight. The CAA often considers applications from each applicant based on its merits, but it will also take the detail contained in your National approval or qualification into account when they are considering whether the application and the requirements that are set within the country.
GENERAL REGULATIONS FOR FLYING A DRONE IN THE UK
- It is required that all commercial drone operations in the UK should have permission from the CAA.
- All commercial drone operations must be properly insured.
- The drone in flight must be in the line of flight of the drone operator at all times. This is essential to prevent your drone from colliding with other things especially other aircraft.
- All drones are not allowed to fly above 400 feet in the air.
- The drone flight must not be used to harm anyone or anything.
- Also, drones that are often designed with a camera are given additional limitations on their area of flight. These types of drones are also given limitations in terms of how close they can get to other people or objects. However, if you must fly your drone in an area close to many people, you will need to get prior permission from the CAA in order to do so.
- Drone flights are not allowed within 492 feet (150 meters) of areas that are congested or organized open assembly that contain more than 1,000 people. Drone flights are also not allowed within 164 feet (50 meters) of any person, vessel, structure, property or vehicle that are not under the control of the owner of the drone. Drone flights are also forbidden from flying above 400 feet (122 meters) in the air.
- It is necessary to ask for permission first before you fly a drone closer than 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) from the boundary of a protected aerodrome.
- Drone operators are not allowed to cause or enable any article or animal (even if they are strapped to a parachute) to be dropped from a drone in a manner that may harm people or properties.
- Drone operators are not allowed to fly a drone that weighs more than 20kg unless they have a drone pilots license.
- Drone operators are only to fly their drone when it is safe and will not harm any unconcerned person.
- Drone operators are also to follow the local council’s rules and regulations about drone flights in the area.