Drone safety

Drone use is growing at a rapid rate in the UK and our skies are some of the busiest anywhere in the world. Drones are now banned within 5km of Gatwick and all UK airports. It is illegal to fly them within this zone. 

Drones and airports

Anyone flying a drone must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields. There is a 5km flight restriction zone around Gatwick and it is illegal to fly any unauthorised drones within this area. Drones must not fly above 400ft (approx. 120m) at any time. It is a criminal act to break the no-fly zone and the operator could put lives at risk and go to prison for up to five years. 

Map of no-fly zone around Gatwick

Flying drones safely and legally

When you fly a drone in the UK it is your responsibility to be aware of the rules that are in place to keep everyone safe.  

NATS – the UK’s main air traffic control provider – has designed an app to help drone users in the UK to easily access the information they need about how to fly their drones safely and legally, without endangering others. 


The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – the organisation responsible for regulating UK airspace and airports – has also produced a simple code to help people to help make sure people fly drones safely and legally. The steps on the code are outlined below and you can also download the code

Steps in the CAA’s Drone Code include:

  • Don’t fly near airports or airfields
  • Remember to stay below 400ft (120m)
  • Observe your drone at all times – stay 150ft (approx 50m) away from people and property
  • Never fly near aircraft
  • Enjoy responsibly

Get permission

It is illegal to fly any drone at any time within these restricted zones unless you have permission from air traffic control at the airport or, if air traffic control is not operational, from the airport itself. 

To contact us about this, please email: drones@gatwickairport.com.  

Reporting safety concerns about drones

If you have any concerns about drones being used in vicinity of Gatwick Airport area, either from a safety or privacy perspective, contact your local police on 101.