From the 30th of July, 2018 new law came into force for flying drones over 250g in the UK. They are designed to improve safety and are simple to follow:
- The maximum height at which the drone may fly is 400 feet above the surface.
Why?: Because, aside from take-off and landing, all manned aircraft are not to fly below 500 feet, thereby ensuring a 100 feet separation. Note this is the height of the drone, not the remote pilot. – Simple!
- The drone MUST remain in Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) of the remote pilot at all times.
Why?: Because the remote pilot must be able to see potential collision hazards from all sides of the drone. this cannot be done through the camera, FPV goggles, spotter, or binoculars – Simple!
- The maximum distance at which it may fly from the remote pilot is 500 metres.
Why?: Because even Superman would struggle to maintain VLOS at 500 metres. – Simple!
- There must be an area clear of people (apart from the remote pilot) around the take-off and landing point of 30 metres in radius.
Why?: Loss of lateral positioning (GPS etc.) can mean the drone moves sideways, causing a potential danger to people – Simple!
- The closest the drone may be to any person, structure, vessel or vehicle is 50 metres not under the direct control of the remote pilot, and none of these may be overflown at any height.
Why?: Principally this is for privacy, as it does not apply to drones that do not have cameras – Simple!
- The closest the drone may be to any outdoor gathering of more than 1000 people is 150 metres and no overflying is permitted.
Why?: Again, privacy is the key here. It is not considered practical to have more than 1000 people under the control of the remote pilot (a requirement). Even making a statement on an entry ticket about drones being present is not an exemption. Bottom line, don’t do it. – Simple!
- Do not fly closer than 150 metres to a congested area with a drone of >7kg mass, 50 metres for <7kg.
Why?: Safety, essentially. The potential for endangerment is greater as the density of population increases. – Simple!
- Do not fly within 1 km of the boundary of an airfield.
Why?: Manned aircraft take-off and land so need to be close to the ground – Simple!
Here, at Unmanned Images, we are firm believers that if people understand the reasons for something they are much more willing to comply.