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Flying Over Harbours in the UK
756 11 2016-7-17
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markaguille
Captain
Flight distance : 2031818 ft
Guernsey
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Does anyone know if there are restrictions on flying around harbours. I was aproached by a harbour official the other day whilst filming a sporting event near to the harbour. He was ok with where and how I was flying but was adamant that I was not to fly over the harbour (his properties in particular) unless I had permision from the harbour office. I had suggested that he may be mistaken and that having read through CAP 393, as long as I stayed more than 50m away from any building, structure, vehicle or person, I would be ok. The guy gave me the impression that he was eager to flash his ID card to someone and seemed to back down when I quoted article 167. Am I missing something here or was this guy just another drone hating "you're not allowed to do that" jobsworth, that needed to boost his ego?

2016-7-17
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str1776
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United States
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Hi Mark , my son and myself have flown and fly over west coast Dana point Harbor no  one has approached us as of yet.
Of course we don't  impose on anyone were atleast 150 ft it's the harbor no harm no fowl brother, CAP 393 I will read tonight
And article 167 thanks for heads up!
2016-7-17
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markaguille
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str1776 Posted at 2016-7-18 04:30
Hi Mark , my son and myself have flown and fly over west coast Dana point Harbor no  one has approac ...

The guy seemed to want to flex his authoritative muscles to me, but that doesn't mean he wasn't right, I told him that if I did need to fly over his harbour, in future I would seek permission. I would however like to If what he says is correct or not.
Maybe i'll have a word with ATC today.
2016-7-17
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ayrshireuav
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I would say it depends on what you are doing whilst flying over the harbour.  If you are filming or taking photos he has a genuine grievance.  You could be infringing his rights under the data protection act etc.  Also, you are likely flying over an area that has a number of people, boats, tall structures etc.  Furthermore you need to be careful that there is no interference with your signals from boat radar systems, or other transmitting systems.  Rather than quoting legislation etc Id suggest an email or a letter to the Harbour Master and offer an explanation of what you intend to do.  Reassure him that you are a competent flyer, you obey strict safety guidelines and that you hold the proper insurance and permissions etc.  Educating people who appear against "drones" etc is a much better way of gaining confidence in the publics attitude towards our very expensive flying plastic machines.  Offer him some aerial shots of his Harbour as a gesture of your gratitude and build a relationship.  He can then give you advice on any radio interference frequencies and radar etc.  He may also put you in contact with boat captains who may be interested in working with you to purchase aerial images of their boats at see or in harbour etc.  Before you know it you could have possible clients to keep you busy and a new friend in the harbour master.  Just my opinion.
2016-7-18
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markaguille
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ayrshireuav Posted at 2016-7-18 13:33
I would say it depends on what you are doing whilst flying over the harbour.  If you are filming or  ...

Hi ayrshireuav,

Thanks for the reply, but I'm not sure you understood the question. I was just curious to whether requesting permission to fly over this harbour is mandatory or not.

Mark G.  
2016-7-18
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Wolfman
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Australia
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Hi Mark,

I could be wrong but I think this guy was just chest beating. I guess America is like most countries where by the airspace is controlled by an aviation authority. If it is not marked on charts as being a restricted area then I would assume the general rule for distance away from people and buildings would apply.

I had a similar issue with a couple of police during a shot close to a government building. After listening to their concerns I soon realised they had no idea and after outlining the rules to them. Too many bored folk looking for their 2 minute power rush.

Regards Wolf
2016-7-18
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markaguille
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Wolfman Posted at 2016-7-18 23:25
Hi Mark,

I could be wrong but I think this guy was just chest beating. I guess America is like most ...

Hi Wolfman,

What you're saying makes sense. Aviation authority AND harbour authority both having authority does not make sense. If he had told me I would need to get approval from ATC to fly over the harbour maybe this would made sense.
If I ever have need to fly over the harbour I will notify the harbour office anyway as a courtesy.

Mark G.
2016-7-18
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markaguille
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Wolfman Posted at 2016-7-18 23:25
Hi Mark,

I could be wrong but I think this guy was just chest beating. I guess America is like most ...

Hi Wolfman,

What you're saying makes sense. Aviation authority AND harbour authority both having authority does not make sense. If he had told me I would need to get approval from ATC to fly over the harbour maybe this would made sense.
If I ever have need to fly over the harbour I will notify the harbour office anyway as a courtesy.

Mark G.
2016-7-18
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Rinzler
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United States
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markaguille Posted at 2016-7-19 03:01
Hi Wolfman,

What you're saying makes sense. Aviation authority AND harbour authority both having  ...

The only law that I am aware of in the Uk is flying within 50m of a person / private property or structure. I read some where not to long ago of a guy being fined for flying over a neighborhood on the return to home. Not sure why people would care about flying over water thou. My guess is "I don't like drones and I'm ruffle some feathers" set in with him. But better safe then sorry at any rate. But I should brush up on the rules soon anyways as I will be in Scottland and then in Iceland around October.
2016-7-19
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ayrshireuav
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markaguille Posted at 2016-7-18 18:41
Hi ayrshireuav,

Thanks for the reply, but I'm not sure you understood the question. I was just cu ...

Sorry Mark, I read it correctly just waffled my answer! Apologies.  I think it falls under "congested area". The Air Navigation Order defines a congested area as being 'any area of a city, town or settlement which is substantially used for residential, INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL or recreational purposes'. The rest of my original response was more opinion and advice.  Sorry.
2016-7-19
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markaguille
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ayrshireuav Posted at 2016-7-19 16:14
Sorry Mark, I read it correctly just waffled my answer! Apologies.  I think it falls under "conges ...

No worries Ayreshireuav. Thing is though, if this fella was talking about a congested area then the Harbour Office would still not be the place to ask for permission,  Harbour Office has no authority over aviation activities ergo the guy was indeed, as I suspected, talking out of his rear end. I will however still seek their approval if I ever need to fly there. No point in any of us making enemies or upsetting anyone.

Mark G.
2016-7-19
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Paul S
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United Kingdom
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Port of London Authotity are trying to gain control of airspace over parts of the Thames. Current legislation gives CAA authority over airspace in UK. So as long as you are more than 50m separation to people structures etc and the area is not deemed to be "congested" then you would be OK. However it would seem to me that a harbour would be considered a congested area based on its substantial commercial use. With a PFAW you would be OK  as long as all other safety concerns were met and you had landowners permission for take off and landing.
2016-7-20
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