On 20/02/19, the UK Government announced new amendments to The Air Navigation Order 2016. Here we explain the important changes that you need to know about.
2019 ANO Amendments:
1. It remains illegal to fly a drone of any mass within an aerodrome flight restriction zone without permission.
- Aerodromes can take the form of airports, military airfields, or smaller aviation airfields. You can find a list of the UK’s aerodromes here.
- Aerodromes have a ‘flight restriction zone’ around them to ensure the safety of aircraft. They are active at all times, and apply to drones of any mass.
2. With effect from 13/03/19, the flight restriction zone around airports and airfields will change.
The previous 1 km restriction from an airfield boundary will be replaced by the airfield’s existing Aerodrome Traffic Zone, and Runway Protection Zone. Together, these two zones make up the new flight restriction zone. You must not fly your drone within this zone unless you have permission.
a) Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ): This is the red circle in the image below. Its epicentre is the midpoint of the longest runway, and has a radius of either 2 or 2.5 nautical miles depending on the length of the runway.
b) Runway Protection Zone: This zone starts from the end of each of the airfield’s runways, extending five kilometres by one kilometre zones*. It’s marked as the red rectangle in the image below.
Both zones extend upwards to a height of 2,000 feet above the airfield. To view a map which illustrates the flight restriction zones of individual airfield’s in the UK, visit the Drone Safe website.
*At Heathrow airport, each runway protection zone is 1.5 km wide.
3. If you want to fly your drone within a flight restriction zone, you must have permission from either air traffic control, or the airport itself.
- It’s up to air traffic control, or the airport itself, to give you permission to fly within an aerodrome flight restriction zone. You can find the contact details of air traffic control units in the UK here.
- If you want to fly above 400 ft in a flight restriction zone, you need to get permission from the relevant air traffic control, as opposed to the CAA.
To find contact details for the different ATCs you can follow the links in the CAA’s official write-up of 2019 ANO amendments here