The UK’s National Aviation Authority, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) control the UK Law and enforcement of drone usage in the UK.

As drone usage for both aerial inspection and recreational usage increases, it is vital that all drone pilots follow the strict UK Laws for drone usage.

While the full guide to UK drone regulations can be found with this link >>>, we have put together a breakdown of the most important drone laws for the UK.

There are three categories of drone usage in the UK. Open (for hobby and recreational use), Specific (for enterprise drone pilots) and Certified (difficult access/high risk flight operations).

The higher the risk involved in flying a drone, the tighter the restrictions and limitations apply. Some of the UK drone laws apply to all drone flights whereas some only apply to flights in certain categories.

drone laws uk

Open Category Drone Flights

Used generally for recreational use, Open Category Drone flying in the UK must include the following:

  • Drone take off weight must be less than 25kg
  • Drone must not fly over people
  • Visual line of site (VLOS) must be maintained at all times
  • Drones must not fly in a Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) without special permission
  • Drone pilots must not be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or visual/mental disability that could cause an issue with their flight ability.
  • The drone must be in safe working condition before take off

Specific Category Drone Flights

  • Drone take off weight must be less than 25kg
  • Drone pilots must be employed or contracted to the registered operator
  • Drone pilot must hold a GVC or NQE Qualification and carry proof of competency at all times when operating a drone
  • Drone pilot must always carry ORS4/1449 documentation
  • Drone pilots must have insurance cover that meets EC Regulation 785/2004
  • Visual line of site (VLOS) must be maintained at all times
  • Drones must not fly above 120 metres without specific authorisation
  • Drones must not fly in a Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) without special authorisation
  • Drones must not fly within 50 metres of population points without special authorisation
  • Drones must be equipped with ‘Return to Home’ mechanism in the event that radio signal communication is lost
  • Night time flights but be conducted in accordance with approved procedures

Find out more

If you would like to know more about the UK Drone Laws and how this can affect aerial drone inspection work for your business needs, please contact our Glasgow head office today. We can answer all of your drone questions and arrange a visual demonstration of our drone inspection capabilities.