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Rules regarding drones

Rules regarding drones

In the first place, what are the Rules regarding drones?

As an illustration, you can currently, walk into a shop that sells drones and walk out with one with just a receipt. Consequently, you don’t have to leave an address or show that you have the competence to fly one.

As a result, is this a recipe for a possible disaster?

Picture of a drone Rules regarding drones

Drone Code Rules Regarding Drones

On purchasing the drone, you might receive a document that says Drone Code when you purchase your drone. Accordingly, this document gives useful information on the limits imposed on drone flyers within the rules regarding drones.

These are:

  • Always keep the drone in sight.
  • Always fly below 400ft from the ground
  • Keep 50metres away from people and property
  • Keep 150metres away from crowds and built-up areas
  • You are responsible for every flight you make.
  • Stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields

From Nov 30th, 2019 all drones require registering (cost £9) with the CAA before they’re flown and the pilot has to have taken a drone test.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

What’s missing from the drone code.

Accordingly, pockets of areas around the UK restrict the flying of drones. Without the knowledge of knowing the whereabouts of these areas, trouble with a capital T could be on your doorstep.

In order to get a full picture, you need aviation charts (purchase from flightstore) and an app (NATS Drone Assist) that lets you know where the no go areas are. For this reason, you need both.


The charts tell you the height(s) and width the airspace restriction operates. Close to an airport, you may have airspace of the surface to 5000ft. Here you will require permission to fly.

As you move away from the flight line the airspace may be 2000ft to 5000ft. That being the case the height of 2000ft as the base allows the drone to fly at 400ft.

You may also have other restrictions on flying. An example of this is the New Forest. Here you will need commercial operator permission and a fee may be required to obtain permission.

Nats Drone Assist

In this case, this app gives information as to flight restrictions and hazards. It also gives you the areas you can fly in with caution.

Commissioning work responsibilities

As a result of these measures, it’s important to know that if you commission work the operator has commercial permission (PFCO). Current operators can be found on the CAA website.

If your requirement involves aerial photography/videography, contact Martin here.

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One use for a drone aerial photography

It’s important to realise, the use of drone aerial photography comparatively new in the UK. For this reason, drone activities, aerial/video photography’s only a small use of there capability.

In fact, not too long ago the only options were helicopters, camera poles and mobile platforms. As a result, these brought their own problems. For example, expensive, restrictive angles, difficult to follow the action and H&S issues.

Latest Commercial Task

For this reason, my client contacted me to use my drone to photograph a roof. Of course, the reason for this was that the roof was leaking.

As an illustration, the building’s situated at the end of a drive with buildings around it. It is also adjacent to the neighbour’s boundary. This posed access problems particularly for gaining access to all areas. In this case, the obvious answers to do this from the air.

Issues that require considering?

  • The property is close to Southampton airport.
  • Due to the proximity could I fly in this location?
  • Neighbours, would they allow flight over their land?
  • Weather needs to be dry and not too much wind.

Southampton Airport

Accordingly, the new regulations have a 5km air exclusion zone around the airport. In this case, this was not in this area; however, it is just outside. Accordingly, being in the vicinity of the airport, what air traffic’s likely to fly in the vicinity?

With attention to detail, the Aviation Maps checked first. In particular, these tell you where you will encounter aircraft movements. In this case, the location of the property is within the aircraft movements for the airport. Consequently, to fly here I would require permission from the Air Traffic Controllers. Therefore to obtain permission a non-standard flight request requires submitting to NATS. Thereupon, with this duly submitted, it takes 21 days for an answer.


Consequently studying Google maps, it clearly shows that flyings possible over the property without encroaching on the neighbours.

Drone Aerial Photography Other considerations

  • Main road situated in front of the property.
  • Tall trees on the property
  • Adjoining property
  • Wind.

Accordingly, to eliminate the issues, there is no reason to fly over the road or adjoining property. In addition, be aware of the trees and fly above. In like manner, watch the weather to pick the right time to fly with little or no wind.

Drone Aerial Photography Risk

The first thing to remember, flying a drone is all about the risk of the operation and limiting that risk. Consequently, the risk assessment for drone flying is about 10 pages. Therefore the assessment looks at the risks posed by the property, vehicles, physical hazards, weather, take-off and landing, and the drone code etc. In general, the initial survey’s carried out off-site, looking at google maps, aviation maps and OS maps. You must bear in mind that something may be present that is not visible on these maps. It’s important to review this prior to commencing the operation. The risk must be as low as possible before commencing the flight.

The Operation

In the first place, the object of the operation was to video/photograph the roof of the outbuilding garage and main building.

To clarify, from the air, the state of the building’s roof’s viewed clearly. Accordingly, the camera on the drone’s positioned to give a flat perspective to the roof. To emphasize, in post-processing, by zooming into the image you can see the state of it.

Picture of roof chimneys drone aerial photography
Cracked cement around the chimney pots
Picture of valleys of roof drone aerial photography
Missing cement in the valleys between the pitched roofs
Picture of the valley between roof pitches drone aerial photography
Rubbish in the valley
Picture of holes in roof drone-aerial-photography
Holed areas on the corrugated roofing

Consequently, one issue that didn’t get considered was the doves flying around. Therefore were they angry or curious? As a matter of fact, they were curious and flew around as the drone operated.

Should you be considering hiring a drone and pilot, contact Martin or use the form below. By giving Martin as much information as possible it will enable him to confirm whether or not permissions are required.

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