The UK is one of the primary markets for drones globally. Lamentably, there have also been a number of incidents involving drones trespassing sensitive areas such as airports or government installations. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has therefore published a very clear set of rules that can be also seen on their website dronesafe.uk.
Here’s a summary of all the UK drone rules:
- Always keep your drone in sight (VLOS – Visual Line of Sight). This makes a lot of sense and is a standard rule in almost all jurisdictions.
- Stay below 400 ft (120m). A comparable altitude limit as found in many other countries, and enough for most recreational applications. This keeps drones away from helicopters and airplanes.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. A no-brainer – keeping the drone and the people around you safe!
- Keep the right distance from people and property. A distance of 50 m to people and property as well as 150 m to built-up areas and crowds.
- You are responsible for each flight. This means, the pilot needs to evaluate fitness of the aircraft, the area as well as himself before starting a mission. All responsibility lies on the pilot.
- Stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields. A minimum distance of several kilometers is advised. For flights less than 1 km from an airport, mulit-year jail sentences apply.
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