Drone regulations in Great Britain (United Kingdom)

In this post, I’d like to introduce you to the current rules for operating drones in the UK.

In the UK, a registration requirement for drones with a take-off weight of 250 grams is currently being planned. Registration will be possible online from October 2019 at the earliest. Registration is required from November 30, 2019. After registration, you will be assigned an identification number, which you must attach to your copter with a drone badge.

Along with the registration requirement, it will also be necessary to demonstrate basic knowledge of UK law. Further details should be announced by October 2019.

Unaffected by this, the following rules apply.

Rules for operating drones in the UK

Maximum flight altitude: The vertical flight limit is 120 meters in the United Kingdom.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Drones have to be always in the direct line of sight in the UK. The maximum allowed horizontal range is 500 meters.

Compulsory insurance: To my knowledge, only commercial drones must have personal liability insurance. However, I recommend that everyone make drone insurance valid in the UK!

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): from 7 kg certain conditions apply

Distance to airports: For the outer boundary of airports, a safety distance of one kilometer is to be maintained. On the island of Jersey, you have to keep a distance of at least 2 kilometers.

Other safe distances: A distance of 50 meters between your copter and individual persons and buildings must be observed. A distance of 150 meters has to be ensured to gatherings of people and built-up areas (settlements).

Flight bans: Areas with a flying ban can be identified with the Drone Assist app.

Time of operations: Drone flights at night require separate permission.

Regulations for commercial pilots: A permission must be applied for commercial activities. There is a form for foreign pilots (SRG 1320).

Good to know: Frequency determinations: 2.4 GHz without power limitation with digital radio; 5.8 GHz in the range of 5.725 to 5.875 MHz

Helpful links: Civil Aviation Authority

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Great Britain to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Great Britain!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Urban karma | 29.10.2017

    I live in the U.K. And have just got my pfco from the CAA great to see your site giving advice on safe drone flying around Europe and other places really informative lots of info in one place and all the info on the UK is 100% correct great research and will be using your site for reference when flying overseas thanks guys would love to see a gallery on here of all your travels

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