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UK - CAA Article 167 (ANO 2009)
1673 12 2016-1-31
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nigelw
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I've asked this before on the Pantom 3 forum but not really had any useful feedback, so I'm hopng I can get some opinions here.
Article 167 states I must not fly over or within 150 metres of a congested area or an organised open-air assembly of more than 1000 people (Para. 2, a & b).  It then goes on to say I must not fly within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under my control (Para. 2, c), or within 50m of any person (para. 2, d).

The critical part for me is the omission of the word "over" in c & d.  Does that imply I can fly over a vessel, vehicle, structure or person as long as I'm flying more than 50 metres above them?


Small unmanned surveillance aircraft

167.—(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.

(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are—

(a)over or within 150 metres of any congested area;

(b)over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;

(c)within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or

(d)subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.

(4) Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the person in charge of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.

(5) In this article ‘a small unmanned surveillance aircraft’ means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.



2016-1-31
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stevenstringer
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Hi, you can not fly over any vessel, vehicle or structure or people.  It does not matter how high you, even if we're at the upper limit of 120 metres. You must be 50 metres away. Best way to judge this is by imagining there is a shadow on the ground from your drone directly underneath it then take your measurement from there.

stay, make sure you are in unregulated air space and are flying in a big open space, at least 50metres away from anything. Good luck finding somewhere! You should have permission from the land owner too.

Steve
2016-1-31
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nigelw
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stevenstringer Posted at 2016-1-31 17:02
Hi, you can not fly over any vessel, vehicle or structure or people.  It does not matter how high yo ...

But that's the problem I have...if I am 50 metres above anything, I'm 50m away!  If what you're saying is true, why do they change their terminology between sub-paragraphs?  Is this your interpretation or do you have other sources of information?

Up until now I've not had a problem finding somewhere to fly without flying over people or structures, but it can be limiting when someone walks under your flight path.  Where is permission from the landowner mentioned by the CAA?
2016-1-31
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nigelw
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PaulKerry Posted at 2016-1-31 18:22
They should never have been able to get to within 50m of your aircraft in the first place.

If the ...

Oh, trust me, I'll have a big list of questions to ask before I attend. I just need it to be clear in my head, not only for legal reasons, but also because I really feel the need to know exactly what I'm doing.
Until I get an answer, I'll always assume the worst case scenario.

Just another snippet of info I found reading the CAA's CAP722 guidance document, which comes under Approval to Operate - Standard Permissions  - "In any circumstances or mass category, it must be noted that flights directly overhead persons and vehicles will not be allowed at any height in a congested area, or otherwise, unless these vehicles and persons are under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.", which again, implies there's no 50m exclusion zone horizontally, rather, you don't fly directly overhead.
2016-1-31
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paul.shelleymai
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I am sorry to disagree with some of the other oplnions as we have been through this before, but "within" is a proximity statement ie vector and has no concept of horizontal vertical or otherwise although some people seem to add there own albeit non-stated interpretation. If you could not fly over any structure then you could not fly over a wall, abandoned sheep shed or anything. The statement "over" when related to congested areas and organised gatherings of over 1000 people is clearly to add that constraint in those particular circumstances. Now when the quote relates to pfaw then this might be different but for non pfaw then the ruling is clear. So my opinion for what it is worth and based on legal definitions is that as long as you are outside a 50 m hemisphere of the person, vehicle structure etc  and it is not an organised gathering of more 1000 or a congested area then you are legal. I also agree that landowners permission is required for take off and landing but (again) as long as you are above 50m then no permission is required to fly over it. As you will no doubt understand from this thread and as is typical in English ( perhaps PK I should say British) law that much is open to interpretation and requires careful consideration of the technical terms and language used in the regulations.
2016-2-8
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Paul S
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PaulKerry Posted at 2016-2-8 23:02
Do I understand your interpretation correctly?

If I do, you are suggesting that I can fly directl ...

In addition, you have to consider that in ANO 2009, the restrictions of 50m, 150m, within, over, gatherings of >1000 etc only refer to SUSA and not SUA when not flying as aerial work which suggests that privacy not safety is being considered, which btw is not in the CAA remit.

In contrast CAP722 is all about flying where CAA permission is required (mainly aerial work) and applies additional constraints that are stated as being about safety - explained in different language as being about the lowest common denominator of aircraft capability.

So I am not challenging CAP722 but rather discussing the language and meaning of the regulation and pointing to an anomaly that flying SUA or SUSA with PFAW is actaully more restrictive than flying recreationally.

The definitions of congested area are also interesting as it includes non-urban areas used mainly for recreational activities (would for example that mean you can't fly at a model aircraft flying field.

Paul S
2016-2-9
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Paul S
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PaulKerry Posted at 2016-2-9 09:45
Aha... That clarification may go some way to explaining my confusion and why I thought that I migh ...

Just for clarity:
ANO 2009 Article 255 defines the meaning of ‘Congested Areas’. The definition states that a ‘Congested  Area" means any area in relation to a city, town or settlement which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes.

So what then is a settlement? I live on a farmstead which is substantially used for commercial and recreational purposes (agriculture and equine pursuits) albeit the density of activity is very thin indeed - so perhaps it isn't then substantial.

Also it now appears to use the words substantially - not pre-dominantly....but anyway it is private land.
2016-2-9
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Mad_Angler1
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My interpretation of the rules for none PFAW is 50m over any person, building or structure
2016-2-9
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Mad_Angler1
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Sorry clicked send and can't edit in mobile , it specifically states not over for for congested or open air even but it's clear that detention has been left out so you could fly over a single house in the middle of a field that contains a family as long as you were 50m minimum hight from the tallest part , that's my interpretation
2016-2-9
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Paul S
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Mad_Angler1 Posted at 2016-2-9 12:37
Sorry clicked send and can't edit in mobile , it specifically states not over for for congested or o ...

Pretty much agree for a SUSA (which an Inspire is) in recreational flying , but if it had no camera or data collection device (SUA) then the 50m rule etc does not apply. Article 166 of CAP 393

Paul S
2016-2-9
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nigelw
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So, after all that, I'm thinking I can fly over people or structures as long as i'm high enough with my P3P or Inspire when I get one, which makes some sense as it's near impossible to judge from 120m up.  What changes when I get PfAW, other than the obvious risk assessments?

I remember reading somewhere that you can't fly directly over a person not under your control, but nothing that explicitly states any additional rules regarding flying within 50m of a person or structure.
2016-2-9
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Paul S
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nigelw Posted at 2016-2-9 19:58
So, after all that, I'm thinking I can fly over people or structures as long as i'm high enough with ...

Yes your view is in line with my analysis and opinion.

For Pfaw then the standard permission as detailed in CAP 722 is as below:

Standard Permissions
3.25 The standard CAA permission for SUA/SUSA in the 7 kg or less category allows flight in congested areas to within 50 metres of persons, structures etc. (or within 30 metres if the persons are under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft). This category of SUA/SUSA cannot fly within 150 metres of open-air assemblies of 1,000 people or more where only a standard permission has been granted.

So far so good but then it goes on to say:
3.27 In any circumstances or mass category, it must be noted that flights directly overhead persons and vehicles will not be allowed at any height in a congested area, or otherwise, unless these vehicles and persons are under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.

So that appears to be the additional constraint of "over" related to people, structures etc in a congested area and also "or otherwise" which could mean a non-congested area.

You can of course apply for specific or general permissions other than the standard one:

3.24 Such a permission would be suitable for those SUA operators that find they are frequently engaged in towns and cities to carry out work for film and TV productions, advertising agencies, marketing or other publicity events, photographic work for large property developments or survey or infrastructure inspections at industrial sites, etc. There is no guarantee that permission can be granted to reduce these distances.
And to get such a permission there is a whole bunch of "guidance" notes in Appendix A of CAP722.....
2016-2-9
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nigelw
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Paul S Posted at 2016-2-9 20:21
Yes your view is in line with my analysis and opinion.

For Pfaw then the standard permission as de ...

"3.27 In any circumstances or mass category, it must be noted that flights directly overhead persons and vehicles will not be allowed at any height in a congested area, or otherwise, unless these vehicles and persons are under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft."

Directly overhead persons or vehicles I can deal with & is perfectly reasonable IMO, regardless of having PfAW or not.
2016-2-9
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