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Where Can You Fly Your Drone? What Rules Apply to You and your Drone?

can I fly here

or here

okay

there are loads of places that you can

fly your drone and loads more places

that you can't but a few people get in

touch this week asking how you can

actually work out whether or not you've

got the right to fly so today I thought

I'd go through the main rules that

affect you and how to find out where you

can fly legally

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hello so I had a few people this week

get in touch asking how to find out

whether it's legal or safe to fly in

particular location

well don't rule is in most countries are

regulated by that country's Aviation

Authority yeah the FAA Federal Aviation

Authority in the USA UK and Australia's

got the Civil Aviation Authority and so

on there are a few rules that you need

to stick by and irrespective of where

you are they kind of fall into two

groups what's going on around you and

what's going on above so first off let's

talk about the rules governing your

surroundings

my advice is always to be far away from

buildings trees and people the actual

rules are quite straightforward and in

the UK they're all outlined by the Civil

Aviation a navigation order but most

other countries have very similar rules

to these four main basic ones number one

stay at least 150 metres or 500 feet

horizontally away from any built-up area

or open area that's got over a thousand

people there this means you cannot fly

over these areas at all and in practice

it means that most towns and cities are

out of bound to flying unless you're in

a large park

rule number two stay a 50 meter or 150

foot bubble away from any person or

structure not under your control this

means you can fly over them but you

cannot fly closer than 50 metres to them

should point out in the UK for UK fliers

this rule is reduced to 30 meters or

about 100 feet for takeoff and landing

rule number three stay under 400 feet in

altitude from the point you take off

from that's a pretty common rule for at

most of the world

rule number four stay in visual line of

sight which means that you can always

see the drone with your own eyes at any

time another key consideration is land

owners they do actually have the right

to stop you controlling your drone but

not from flying over their land so parks

and private land are quite within the

rights to stop you taking off

controlling or landing on their land but

they cannot stop you flying over any

more than they could stop a hot air

balloon or a paraglider flying over land

owners may think they've got this right

but in the UK at least it's the CAA that

control the airspace not the land owner

and that's quite a key principle to keep

in mind and I happen to know this for a

fact as I did contact the CAA

just this week and they did confirm back

to me but as long as you're complying

with the rules that I've just laid out

in the air navigation order and you're

not in breach of any air restrictions

then you're okay to operate and that

brings me on to the second set of rules

what's going on in the sky in all

countries airspace is controlled by that

country's air traffic control body and

it's generally classified with letters

starting from A to G with a being the

most tightly restricted and G being the

least tightly restricted airspace they

all have various restrictions but

crucially not all of them prohibit you

from flying which is great for us as

long as we know which rules apply to us

and that's where the smartphone comes in

because the good news is most air

traffic control bodies have actually put

out smartphone apps specifically for

drone fliers these are fantastically

helpful and give you real-time

information on any airspace controls and

any temporary controls in place in the

USA the FAA has put out an app called

before you fly in the UK national air

traffic control or Nats have put out an

app called drone assist and in Australia

they have an app called can I fly there

all of these are produced by the

relevant air traffic control bodies

there's also another app called air map

which covers these countries and around

20 other countries throughout the world

so have a look here at the Nats drone

assist app for example it shows you what

controlled airspace is above you and

crucially gives you tailored specific

advice on whether you can actually fly

your drone where you're located these

apps are insanely useful and incredibly

easy to use everyone flying a drone

should be making use of one of these

apps every time they plan a flight not

only does it tell you whether it's safe

to fly where you are it gives you the

knowledge so that if anybody challenges

you you've got the facts right in front

of you so that's about it for today if

you've got any other considerations then

put a comment below and remember to keep

the comments constructive and helpful if

you're referring to any specific

regulations that include the link as

well so that we can click it and check

it out ourselves do remember different

countries have different rules and what

I have outlined today

is my understanding of the civil

aviation rules that apply to UK fliers

it's up to you at the end of the day to

check your rules because ultimately

there's only one person that's

responsible for the flight and that's

you okay hopefully that is helpful for

both new fliers and experienced fliers

alike as ever if you like what I've done

today give me a little thumbs up if you

disagree with something give me a little

thumbs down or you can put a comment

down below like I said keep it

constructive and helpful but either way

until next time have fun happy flying

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