Drone use is growing at a rapid rate in the UK and our skies are some of the busiest anywhere in the world. There are policies in place to ensure that drones do not compromise the safety of our airports.
Drones and airports
Anyone flying a drone must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields. There is a one kilometre exclusion zone around Gatwick and it is illegal to fly any unauthorised drones within this area. Drones must also be kept below 400ft (approx. 120m) at all times. It is a criminal offence if a drone endangers the safety of an aircraft and the operator could go to prison for up to five years.
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
Anyone wishing to fly a drone near Gatwick Airport must contact the airport in advance and should not proceed with the drone flight until permission has been agreed. To contact the us about this, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.