Drone Safety

Background

Drone use is growing at a rapid rate in the UK and our skies are some of the busiest anywhere in the world.

To ensure that those who wish to fly drones are equipped with the information required to do so legally and safely, without endangering others, the CAA has created https://dronesafe.uk/.  This website is to help ensure that drone users have current and accurate information that will help ensure that whilst they’re having fun, they’re not posing a risk to any other aircraft or people.

New Legislation

As of the 13th of  March 2019 the drone flight restriction zone around airports and airfields changed.

The government has introduced a new rule stating that the previous 1km flying restriction from the airfield boundary is replaced by a restriction using the airfield’s existing aerodrome traffic zone, which has a radius of 2.5 nautical miles and then five kilometres by one kilometre zones starting from the point known as the ‘threshold’ at the end of each of the airfield’s runways. Both zones extend upwards to a height of 2,000 feet above the airfield.

It is illegal to fly any drone, at any time, within these restricted zones unless you have permission from air traffic control at the airport or, if air traffic control is not operational, from the airport itself.

The interactive map showing all Runway Restriction Zones can be found here  https://dronesafe.uk/restrictions/

Full details on the Drone Code can be found here https://dronesafe.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Drone-Code_March19.pdf

Safety Apps for Safer Drone Flying

Whenever you are flying a drone the following safety apps may assist:

Drone Assist is the new drone safety app from NATS, the UK’s main air traffic control provider, powered by Altitude Angel. It presents users with an interactive map of airspace used by commercial air traffic so that you can see areas to avoid or in which extreme caution should be exercised, as well as ground hazards that may pose safety, security or privacy risks when you’re out flying your drone.

It also contains a ‘Fly Now’ feature that enables you to share your drone flight location with other app users and the wider drone community, helping to reduce the risk of a drone related incident in the UK’s airspace.

Download on:

App Store 

Google play 

Birmingham Airport and The CAA supports any measure to improve drone safety but, as a regulator, cannot endorse individual products.

Other Apps

In addition to NATS’ Drone Assist, other useful resources exist to support the safe use of drones.  These are included in the selection below which developers have declared to meet the following criteria:

  • Clear and accurate visualisation of relevant airspace with textual description
  • Comprehensive and reliably up-to-date airspace database from an approved aeronautical information management source (to ensure timely inclusion of airspace changes and temporary restrictions or hazards)
  • Includes UK drone safety regulations (e.g. the Dronecode)

The CAA and NATS have not checked or approved the apps. Full responsibility for safe operation remains with the person operating the drone. It is up to them to assure themselves of the accuracy of the data and comply with all UK drone rules and regulations.

Drone use is growing at a rapid rate in the UK and our skies are some of the busiest anywhere in the world. 

To ensure that those who wish to fly drones are equipped with the information required to do so legally and safely the CAA and NATS have developed https://dronesafe.uk

The website also provides an interactive map showing the Flight Restricted Zones (FRZs) created around all UK airports.

You may be prosecuted if you fly ANY small unmanned aircraft within a Flight Restricted Zone without the appropriate authorisation. 

Drone Operations within Birmingham Airport FRZ

It is recognised that commercial operators and recreational users may, on occasion, wish to operate drones within the confines of the Flight Restricted Zone (shown above) established around Birmingham Airport. 

Authorisation for such flights must be requested from Air Traffic Control and will only be provided after a safety impact assesment. 

Prior notification of flight requests should be sent to [email protected] detailing: 

Date of flight: 

Time: 

Location/Postcode: 

Operating Height: 

SUA make and model: 

Name and Address of Operator: 

Operator Contact Number: 

Please note it can take up to 48 hours to access and process any requests. All flights must be conducted in accordance with the DRONE CODE and on application you will be provided with a contact number to call on the day of the flight to obtain an Air Traffic Control clearance. 

Please see our privacy notice regarding use of the information required for authorising drone flights within Birmingham Airports FRZ. 

Safety Apps 

https://dronesafe.uk/safey-apps/ details Safety Apps available for download to mobile devices to assist in flight planning.

Birmingham Airport supports any measure to improve drone safety but cannot endorse individual products.

Birmingham Airport Drone Privacy Notice 

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