Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

UK Drone Law

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bushell, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. bushell

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I've started a drone blog, and my friend has recently added an article about UK Drone Law as I believe it's important to educate people. However, could anyone give it a once over? http://droneblog.co.uk/drone-laws-in-the-uk-the-facts/ and see if there is any important information that should be added?

    Cheers
     
  2. Hughie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    regarding flying over populated areas there is some nuance in the phrase
    "within or over 150 metres"

    Article 167 states
    "over or within 150 metres"

    which is totally different. My interpretation based on the position of the 'or' is that you cannot fly over a congested area at any height !

    Note that this does not apply if you dont have a camera fitted.

    You should also have mention special events of more than 1000 people, you also define what you mean by a drone in terms of weight category - because this has a big impact on the laws.

    I think it would possible be better just to link to the CAA's own summary
    http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid ... geid=16012
     
  3. p fandango

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    so what defines a "congested area", do several people make it congested?
     
  4. bushell

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    excellent feedback, will get this amended! :)
     
  5. Hughie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    definition here :

    "a ‘Congested Area’ means any area in relation to a city, town or
    settlement which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational
    purposes. "


    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Informatio ... 014190.pdf
     
  6. bushell

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks I have tried to amend the article using your edits - thanks guys, very much appreciated.
     
  7. p fandango

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    thanks, i get the feeling they can interpret these rules how they want to get you for something
     
  8. Hughie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    Yes probably, but what is important here is that it is nothing to do with density of people per se. Some Industrial and Commercial parks can cover a significant area, and at weekends / holidays there might not be a single person on there. But according to the rules they cannot be flown over if you have a camera fitted.
     
  9. p fandango

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    what a load of rubbish, so according to that my usual flying field means i'm breaking the rules
     
  10. bushell

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, it doesn't seem right but you have to think they are only going to tighten it even more due to the popularity.
     
  11. Hughie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    Please dont take my word for it, you should make your own interpretation of the rules :

    http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1995
    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Informatio ... 014190.pdf
    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/1995/CAP%2012 ... yrules.pdf
     
  12. p fandango

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    its a shame the rules aren't written clear enough that we should need to "interpret" them
     
  13. Hughie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    If you are talking about the significant discrepancy between the rules with a camera v the rules without a camera, I agree. I dont get that. The rest is quite easy to understand, especially in the table form on pages 2 & 3 in

    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Informatio ... 014190.pdf
     
  14. noiseboy72

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Lincs, UK
    These rules are designed to protect the public - both in terms of direct physical harm and also from the perceived threat of intrusion of privacy.

    I really don't see where the grey areas and need for interpretation comes into it. You should not fly in built up areas - even in green spaces and you should keep away from people and isolated buildings when flying in rural areas. People are trying to suggest loopholes and grey areas so that they can continue to fly unlawfully, but eventually this will come back to bite them.

    I do totally understand that just filming fields is boring and objects and people much more interesting and challenging, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. We are not flying toys, but serious recreational aircraft and the CAA is keen to remind us about our responsibilities. I would draw parallels with the problems around unlicensed and kids motor cycles and mini-quads. So often these are bought by people with no land to use them on, leading to illegal use on private land and even public parks. Don't buy a quadcopter unless you have access to a suitable flying area.

    Sorry, I know it sounds harsh, but I really am concerned that the illegal actions of a few could wreck it for the many. The guy that flies over UK football stadia and fun fairs gets amazing shots and huge YouTube numbers, but he is putting people at risk and eventually someone will get seriously hurt.

    For all of this, I would like to see a "park flyer" category for mini-quads under 300g and fitted with a basic camera that cannot be operated from the ground. These are to all intents and purposes toys and should be allowed to be flown in back gardens and parklands, as the risk of harm is so much lower.
     
  15. Hughie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    +1
     
  16. bushell

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be fair I enjoy filming the countryside, we live in a semi rural location and I get some awesome shots of the countryside and even the river mersey and Liverpool in the distance whilst rotating the drone I can see the Welsh mountains. I agree, the footage the guy gets flying over cities and what not is impressive but like you pointed out its only a matter of time before an accident happens. I do think the rules need to be more clear though, as anything where people can read between the lines and have doubt is going to cause problems unfortunately.
     
  17. p fandango

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    the grey area's i was referring too was what do the CAA consider a congested area, which has already been cleared up (to a degree). No one had previously mentioned flying in built-up area's

    the park i normally fly on is only 4 miles from the city centre, yet apart from the Sunday football matches would be lucky if theirs normally more than a couple of people on there at a time. Being over 550metres long i'm more than capable of keeping the Phantom well over the 150metres away from any people or houses on the one edge. Yet now i'm guessing as it has got marked football pitches on it the CAA would classify it as recreational ground therefore a "congested area". So according to that then me flying there is just as bad as the man filming the football stadiums etc, that can't be right
     
  18. noiseboy72

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Lincs, UK
    I know where you are coming from on that one and to be fair, until it is proved in court, there is no precedent. I will concede that point.
    However
    Just bear in mind that there is nothing in the rules that say that the "Congested Area" is a permanent restriction. With permission, you could fly around a showground - that otherwise would be off limits when a show was taking place, as it would be a virtually empty field with a few isolated buildings.

    Parks are normally covered by local restrictions, so you would need to check the park regulations. Some prohibit glow-plug aero models, but allow electric - or at least don't specifically exclude them.

    I would suggest that flying over an empty field - whether marked up for organised games or not would not be considered a congested area - there is no one there! As soon as there is an organised match - or a significant number of park users, it would become a congested area until the participants disperse.
     
  19. fly-catchers

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Kent England
    It still strikes as odd that most of these rules as to how close you can fly to an area is because of privacy rather than safety. And that most flights you see posted on Youtube etc are at least bending the rules somewhat. I would hope that eventually there would be more flexible rules when using a multirotor with camera fitted. Even if that involves doing some sort of test to qualify.

    bill
     
  20. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    I had a read at the blog. This part is a bit ambiguous I think...

    "If you absolutely must fly in and around urban areas then make sure you plan your route well, and try and anticipate any potential hazards before you allow your drone to take off into the sky. Just one wrong manoeuvre could get you into serious trouble so make sure you do your research and never leave anything to chance."

    If you must fly in and around urban areas then you need permission from the CAA to do so, point blank, that is it, this paragraph suggests that you dont need it and can do it with with 'plan your route well.." it is irresponsible to suggest otherwise IMO.