FLYING DRONES / MODEL AIRCRAFT

The use of drones is a very rapidly developing part of the aviation scene adding to model aircraft flyers, and we’re very keen to work with owners /operators to promote their safe and legal use, both in the vicinity of City Airport in and in general.

What are the rules?

The Civil Aviation Authority are the regulator responsible for civilian aviation in the UK,  as well as manned aircraft this extends to unmanned aircraft of all sizes. 

When flying drones and other remotely controlled aircraft, there are specific rules that must be observed. Civil Aviation Authority permission may be required for certain flights depending on where you plan to fly the drone.

Information about safety rules that apply can be found on the CAA website here: www.caa.co.uk/drones

You must have also have two registrations in place before you fly a drone or model aircraft that’s 250g to 20kg. Details of the registration scheme and how to apply online can be found here: register-drones.caa.co.uk

The CAA have published a Drone and Model Aircraft Code to assist users  in ensuring flights are conducted safely and legally, without endangering others.

The Drone and Model Aircraft Code

  • Always keep your drone in sight

  • Stay below 400ft at all times

  • Every time you fly your drone you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions

  • Keep the right distance from people and property (This means 50m/150ft from people and properties and 150m/500ft from crowds and built up areas)

  • You are responsible for each flight (Failure to fly responsibly could result in criminal prosecution)

  • Stay WELL AWAY from aircraft, airports and airfields

Find our more about the Drone and Model Aircraft Code and how to fly safety at  – www.dronesafe.uk

Another independent source of information is Drone Safety UK 

Can I fly close to City Airport?

As in the Drone and Model Aircraft Code above, you must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields. If your drone or model endangers the safety of an aircraft it is a criminal offence and this can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.

City Airport is a 'Protected Aerodrome' with the meaning of the Air Navigation Order and has an ‘Flight Restricted Zone’ (FRZ), – an area of regulated airspace of 2 nautical miles radius around the airfield with further extensions of 5 kilometers by 1 kilometer from the end of each runway, designed to provide protection to aircraft landing and departing from us, (see map below). Within the FRZ, helicopters and aircraft can be expected at heights down to ground level  as they arrive to land or take-off.

Drone and model aircraft operators should also bear in mind the close proximity of Manchester Airport – please see their website for more details.

www.manchesterairport.co.uk/aviation-professionals/drones

In order to ensure compliance with the Drone and Model Aircraft Code and the Air Navigation Order, and avoid your drone endangering the safety of any aircraft, you must not fly a drone or Model Aircraft at any height within within our Flight Restricted Zone without first gaining our approval.

This allows us to consider your requirements and, where possible we will work with you to ensure your flight can be achieved safely and legally. 

To request permission for a drone or model aircraft flight in the FRZ, please complete our request form. Please do not fly without us confirming permission.

Please provide at least 24 hours notice prior to your planned flight.

​In order to ensure compliance with the Air Navigation Order, and to reduce the risk of a drone or other remotely flown aircraft endangering the safety of any manned aircraft, you must not fly a small unmanned aircraft at any height within the blue shaded areas , without first gaining approval from us. We will consider your requirements and, where possible we will work with you to ensure your flight can be achieved safely. 

The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2019 makes it a criminal offence to operate any drone or other remotely controlled aircraft within the Flight Restricted Zone, at any height, at at any time, without our permission.   You must not operate a drone or model aircraft in this area without our express agreement.

The full text of the Air Navigation (Amendment) Order  2019 can be found here

Further guidance can be found here

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