The UK’s drone laws can be complex, but we’ve made things easy for you by explaining exactly what you need to know. Your drone is an amazing piece of technology and it’s a lot of fun to fly, but you have responsibilities as a pilot too.

Drone operators must remain below 120 metres, fly within the pilot’s line of sight, and not fly above crowds or crowds of people. They also must not fly at night unless they have permission from the CAA and are able to see where they are going with their own eyes.

Drone Rules In Uk

Drone Rules In Uk

You Need Permission From The Civil Aviation Authority

A drone weighing more than 7kg must be registered with the CAA and it’s up to you whether you want to register it or not. If you don’t, your drone could be seized by the police if they see it in the air.

The cost of permission is £55 for a three-year registration certificate, but this can go up depending on what kind of drone you have (for example, if it’s used for commercial purposes).

Drone pilots must follow certain rules about how their drones are flown and where they are flown from:

  • No flying within 4km of an aerodrome without special permission from Air Traffic Control (ATC). This includes airports and helipads used by helicopters;
  • Do not fly within 50m of people or buildings;
  • Do not fly over crowds or congested areas like beaches;

Must Keep It Within Sight At All Times.

You should also:

  • Not fly over or near people or buildings, unless you have permission to do so (from the owner of the building/property).
  • Not fly within 50 metres of any vehicle, vessel or structure that is not under your control. This includes aircraft in flight.
  • Keep your drone away from aircraft, airports and airfields

You Can’t Fly Your Drone Over Or Near People

You can’t fly your drone over or near people or buildings unless you have permission from Air Traffic Control (ATC). You may be fined if you break this law.

Airports, prisons, power stations and oil refineries are examples of sites where it is illegal to fly your drone without permission. If your drone weighs more than 20kg (44lbs), then it must not be flown within a kilometer of an airport boundary unless it has been issued with a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO). The restrictions on flying within a kilometer of an airport extend as far out as 5km in some areas.

Other places where these rules apply include:

The Caa Maintains A List Of Prohibited Places

You can’t fly your drone in a prohibited place. These include prisons, police stations, military bases and airports.

You should also be aware that it’s illegal to fly a drone above 400ft (120m), or within 1km of any airport boundaries or airfield boundaries. You must not fly over congested areas or large gatherings of people at all.

It’s Illegal To Fly Drones Within 5km Of An Airfield

It’s illegal to fly a drone within 5km (3 miles) of an airport, but you may get permission from the airfield operator if you’re flying within 5km of an airport.

Airport operators can also give permission for you to fly your drone within 5km of their airport under certain circumstances. However, if you want to fly closer than this distance from an airport, you must apply for permission in advance.

You can’t fly your drone without permission near airports or airfields unless it’s done under very strict conditions:

You Must Not Record Or Photograph People

  • A drone is an unmanned aircraft.
  • The CAA is the UK’s aviation regulator.
  • A model aircraft is a fixed-wing or rotorcraft that doesn’t carry people, such as a radio-controlled aero plane or helicopter. It’s still classed as an unmanned aircraft, but it doesn’t need to meet the same safety rules.
  • A quadcopter has four rotors (propellers) and can be controlled using various methods such as remote control, smartphone apps and GPS systems.
  •  Quadcopters are sometimes called quadrotors because they have four blades on each rotor disc instead of two like the majority of helicopters do – although technically speaking this isn’t always true since some helicopters also use four blades per disc (two sets at 90 degrees).
  • But most helicopters don’t have any rotors spinning around them so they’re usually referred to as having just one tail rotor instead!
  • Multirotor refers specifically to drones with multiple rotors arranged in pairs above each other – so you’ll find these being used most often in applications where heavier payloads need lifting off into higher altitudes (for example when filming from high up).

There Are Rules About Where And How To Use Drones

There Are Rules About Where And How To Use Drones.

  • You can’t fly a drone near an airport. The CAA says it’s illegal to fly within 1km (0.6 miles) of any airport except Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports; or within 50 metres of people, vehicles or buildings that aren’t involved with aviation.
  • It’s also illegal for drones to be flown within 150 metres of any congested area or large gathering of people such as sporting events without permission from the police first.
  • Drones must stay at least 150 metres away from all built-up areas, including houses and gardens (which are considered part of the built-up area). There’s no legal definition of what constitutes a “built up area”, but this is generally taken as areas where there are streets and houses rather than just fields or open countryside.

How To Register Drone In Uk

How To Register Drone In Uk

The UK has had a drone registration scheme in place since June 2018. This is an attempt to increase safety through education and identification of illegal operators, and it’s important to know if your drone falls under the new rules or not.

If your drone weighs 250g or more, you must register it with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) before flying it outdoors.

To help you understand what this means for your own flying, we’ll explain exactly how the scheme works—and how you can register your own aircraft.

New Rule Requiring Drone Registration Comes Into Effect

  • What is a drone registration?

A drone registration is an identification number that belongs to your drone. It’s similar to the registration numbers you see on cars, except it’s not mandatory for you to show off your drone’s number from the outside.

Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), so if you’re wondering what a drone registration is, it might be helpful for you to know that this term covers both types of aircraft—and even ones that are controlled remotely from the ground or air!

  • What does my UK drone registration number do?

Your United Kingdom (UK) registered UAV/drone will display its unique number on both sides of its body in black letters against a yellow background.

The number will be visible through windows or around doors when you’re flying indoors at low altitudes no more than 20 meters above ground level (AGL). If there’s no way for people nearby to see this information, then they won’t know that your UAV/drone has been properly registered with authorities before takeoff!

What Do You Need To Register?

  • Name and address of the registered owner
  • Make and model of the drone
  • Serial number of the drone
  • A photo of the drone
  • A copy of your receipt for the drone (if you’ve purchased one)
  • You can also include any other photos or documents that are relevant.

Do You Have To Keep Your Registration With You?

It is not a legal requirement to keep your drone registration with you. However, it is a good idea to do so because if you lose your registration, you will have to pay a fee in order to get another one.

Are Drones Allowed In Uk

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you want to fly a drone in the UK. But how do you know if it is legal? Well, we’ve put together this brief guide to explain what exactly is allowed when it comes to flying drones in Britain.

You Cannot Fly A Drone In The Uk Without Registering It

You cannot fly a drone in the UK without registering it. You have to register your drone with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

You can register your drone online and it only takes a few minutes – but remember that you need to do this before flying.

If you don’t register, or fly one through a pilot’s license (if applicable), or get permission from an airfield, then you can be fined up to £1,000 by police. If you are flying a commercially operated drone for work purposes then this could also incur further fines as well as possible criminal charges against yourself or your employer

No Drones Are Allowed In Airports

No drones are allowed in airports or airfields. Exceptions are made for approved commercial operators, who must abide by a series of rules dictating when and where they can fly their drones.

  • You must keep your drone within your line of sight at all times.
  • You cannot fly over groups of people or buildings.

There Is A Maximum Altitude Of 400 Feet For Drones

In the UK, there is a maximum altitude of 400 feet for drones that weigh more than 250g. These have to be flown within line of sight and on the ground by an operator who has passed an online exam and obtained an RPAS certificate.

It’s also worth noting that if your drone weighs less than 7kg (15lb), you can fly it up to 400 feet above where you’re standing.

It Is Forbidden To Fly Over Groups Of People

  • It Is Forbidden To Fly Over Groups Of People or buildings such as hospitals, prisons, or schools – even if they are not open at the time and without permission from the police first.
  • The drone can only be flown within 400 feet of your line of sight (i.e., not further). If you cannot see it for any reason, then it may not be flown until you can see it again (or someone else agrees to take control).
  • You must keep your drone under 400ft in height at all times unless you have been given permission from air traffic control or local authorities to fly higher.

You Must Not Cause Damage To Property With A Drone

  • You Must Not Cause Damage To Property With A Drone.
  • You must not photograph people without their permission.
  • You must not take photos that break privacy laws, such as filming people in their homes or using a drone to record video footage of someone’s private property.
  • It’s also illegal to fly within 1km (0.6 miles) of an airport and within 5km (3 miles) of an airport without permission from air traffic control at the airport first

Frequently Asked Question (drone Laws Uk)

What Do I Need To Do To Fly My Drone Safely And Legally?

  • It is your responsibility to know the drone laws in your area.
  • You must follow the rules of the air and always keep your drone safe, legal and out of sight.
  • The Drone Code is a set of rules that every person flying a drone should follow to ensure they fly safely and responsibly.

Can I Fly A Drone For Commercial Work?

You are allowed to fly a drone for commercial work, however you will need to apply for a permit. You must be able to show that you can operate the drone safely and legally by meeting the requirements of aviation law, including:

  • You must have at least a valid remote pilot licence (RPL or RPFA).
  • You must pass an approved training course and exam before getting your RPL or RPFA. The course should cover many topics relevant to drones, including aeroplanes and helicopters; laws governing flight; flight rules; how to operate drones safely; how to avoid collisions with other aircraft; how much insurance is needed for commercial flights etc.

How High Can I Fly My Drone?

In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has set a height limit of 400 feet above ground level for non-commercial drone operations. If you’re flying over private property, it’s important to get permission first.

As a general rule, you should stay within line of sight when flying your drone, and keep it within 150 feet of any person or property. The CAA doesn’t define what ‘line of sight’ means – so if your drone is out of sight but still within range and communicating with you continuously via radio control then that would be considered acceptable.

Where Can I Fly My Drone?

You must not fly your drone:

  • Within 5 miles of an airport or airfield, or over any congested area.
  • Within 50 metres of a person, vehicle or building. This is the height limit for drones that are operated by visual line-of-sight (VLOS). If you want to operate your drone above this height limit – for example, if it’s fitted with camera stabilisation equipment – then you’ll need to apply for permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
  • Over or within 150 metres of the boundary of any designated site unless in accordance with permission from the landowner/occupier on whose land you wish to fly and where it has been agreed by air traffic control that there is no risk of harm being caused either directly or indirectly by such activity (e.g., aerodrome operations).

Can I Fly My Drone Near Airfields Or Airports?

You can’t fly your drone within 1km of an airport or airfield. And if you are flying in controlled airspace, you must get permission from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

You must not fly your drone within 50m of people, vehicles or buildings. If your drone weighs less than 20kg and is flying at a height of more than 400ft (120 metres), it should be possible to keep it at least 50m away from anyone who isn’t part of the crew.


The Civil Aviation Authority has established a number of guidelines for drone pilots operating in the UK. Never fly your drone higher than 400 feet above ground level (AGL). Always maintain line of sight with your drone at all times. Never fly within 50 meters of people, animals or buildings

In the UK, there are many laws that apply to drone use. The most important one is that you need permission from the CAA before flying a drone in UK airspace. You also need to register your drone with the CAA and make sure it’s safe to fly. These three rules apply whether you’re using a drone for fun or business purposes such as surveying land or crops.

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