Q923: What are drones and are they legal?
Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are essentially flying robots. The aircraft can be remotely controlled or can fly autonomously using inbuilt software controlled flight plans. Designed for designated purposes by the military, they are becoming increasingly popular among members of the public.
If you are considering using a drone for recreational purposes, we would advise that you consider the guidance below:
- If your drone weighs more than 7kg, additional rules apply when flying in certain type of airspace and you must not fly above 400ft above the surface.
- If you wish to fly one that exceeds the limits above, you will need to seek permission from the CAA - see Q543.
- Avoid flying it within 150 metres of a congested area or 50 metres of a person or vehicle.
- Use your common sense and fly safely - making sure you can see the drone at all times.
- If you are using one with a camera, make sure you inform people before you start recording and be aware of your surroundings.
Misuse of a drone can lead to a criminal offence being committed. For any further help on how to use a drone safely and legally, please see the websites in the related links section.