The Department for Transport (DfT) has given notice of an amendment to the Air Navigation Order.
The changes have been expedited in reaction to incidents involving small unmanned aircraft at
Gatwick and Heathrow in the last couple of months.
The BMFA have reported previously on the creation of flight restriction zones around protected
aerodromes, the concept of which was introduced in the Government Response to the 2018
Consultation on Drones published earlier this year and these zones will come into effect from 13th
March 2019. A useful interactive map of the UK has been created by NATS showing the
protected aerodromes with the restriction zones superimposed.
See https://dronesafe.uk/restrictions/ for further details.
CAP1763 states that ‘the flight restriction zone is active at all times and applies to all small
unmanned aircraft of any mass (even very small ‘toys’)’. This was a surprising development which
would in theory even extend to paper aeroplanes.
If you wish to fly an unmanned aircraft within these restriction zones, then permission will have to
be obtained from air traffic control at the aerodrome. The CAA expect such permissions to be
based on a ‘constructive dialogue between the modellers/model clubs and the relevant aerodrome’
and formalised in a letter of agreement/memorandum of understanding.
One slight benefit included in this ANO update is that the existing restriction on flying unmanned
aircraft over 7kg below 400ft in controlled airspace has now been removed, as the new restrictions
apply to all unmanned aircraft up to 20Kg and maintain the 400ft limit for all unmanned aircraft.
Happily, the Leicester Model Aero Club at Gumley does not fall within this restricted flight zone.
Further info can be found as follows: