Do I Need A License To Fly A Drone In the UK?

Currently, you do not need a license to fly a drone in the UK. However, you must abide by the rules of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) when taking your drone out for a spin. The CAA Air Navigation Order came into action in 2016, outlining specific rules to follow if you’re using a UAV recreationally. These include:

  • Making sure that it weighs 20kg or less
  • Flying your drone in a safe manner
  • Keeping your drone within direct sight at all times and make sure that it doesn’t crash into other aircraft
  • Ensuring that you do not endanger anyone or anything with your drone
  • Flying your drone at a height of 400 feet or lower (if your UAV weighs over 7kg)

As well as this, there are a number of other rules that you must follow if your drone is fitted with a camera and if you want to use it for commercial purposes. These refer to where you can fly them, how close you can fly to people and objects and when to get special permissions for flying your drone.

New UK Drone Laws in 2017 & 2018

Consumer and commercial drone usage is a newly regulated area, therefore you may find that drone laws change or update regularly. In this section, we’ll take a look at the most recent drone laws, as well as any that may be enforced in the future to help you prepare for the changes.

Is it legal to fly a drone over
private property in the UK?

You must stick to the CAA’s drone rules when flying anywhere in the UK. However, local councils set their own rules as to where you can fly locally, so it’s best to check with your individual council before flying your device.

A quick search for ‘[insert town/city name here] council drone policy’ should bring up your local council’s rules for flying drones within the area.

Google Drone Policy

There are several places in the UK where you’re prohibited from flying your drone, this includes locations such as national parks and English heritage sites. These areas are known as ‘no fly zones’, we’ll explain exactly where these zones are in the next section.

Where can’t I fly my drone in the UK?

View No Fly Drones

It can be difficult to keep track of all the places you can and can’t fly your drone in the UK, and the list is constantly being changed and updated.

As a general rule, open spaces away from planes, buildings and people are the safest places to fly. However, there are additional restrictions if your drone has a camera attached. If you want to film or photograph certain private locations in UK it’s likely that you will need permission first, but there are places in the UK where the use of UAVs is banned completely.

Websites such as No Fly Drones provide a map of the UK, highlighting the areas that you can’t fly your drone. This makes it easier to see where flying is prohibited, however, if you’d rather be safe than sorry, it’s best to check with the local council first before flying your UAV.

Inspiration

The best places to fly my drone in the UK?

It may seem like there are a lot of restrictions for flying drones, however, there are a tonne of places in the UK where you can fly your drone freely and capture some amazing shots whilst you’re at it!

If you’re stuck for places to take your drone, visit Drone Scene to find specific places in the UK where others have flown their devices.