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UK airspace restrictions - Drone Assist
7951 19 2017-6-20
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Simon Child
Second Officer
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I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the areas displayed in the Drone Assist app.

For example in the Drone Assist app most of the highlands of Scotland are shown in light red. The caption says "restricted" and "we recommend you not to operate your drone here". But then it says, if you do fly here then obey the dronecode, implying it is perfectly ok to fly there so long as you obey the same rules that apply outside the 'restricted' zone. Confusing! So, can I fly my P4 (below 400ft) in the highlands of Scotland, or not?

2017-6-20
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Nigel_
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Yes, you can fly, as long as you don't fly when the RAF are practicing.  Basically you can fly in the mornings, weekends (Friday to Sunday) and on public holidays, otherwise you should either check the RAF timetable carefully or call them to get permission.

http://www.noflydrones.co.uk/  is a good site to start with since it will give the names of the restricted areas allowing you to look them up elsewhere.

"Flight permitted outside the published hours of the Highlands Restricted
Area (HRA) (R610A to R610D) and during Scottish Public Holidays as
shown in GEN 2-1-2. R610A to R610D active between 1500 and 2300
Winter, 1400 and 2200 Summer Mon to Thu.
When HRA active, civil aircraft may request permission to cross areas
R610C and R610D from Tain Range on RTF frequency 122.750 MHz.
Crossing permission will normally only be given when the areas are not
in use by military aircraft; and crossing is to be effected by the most
expeditious route. Otherwise, when HRA is active, entry of
non-participating aircraft is prohibited unless flying in accordance with
an authorisation given by the Low Flying Booking Cell (LFBC) at
RAF Wittering. Arrangements are in place to enable non-participating
aircraft to gain access to HRA Airspace on an opportunity basis.
Pilots should make application on Freephone 0800-515544 or Freefax
0800-3892225 to the LFBC giving brief details of their intended
flight or activity. If booked IFR military activity allows, pilots will be given
permission to fly within the HRA for a period of up to three and a half
hours from the time of the telephone call. However, it should be noted
that military activity will still be conducted in VMC.
In the event of an emergency which requires airborne assistance the
HRA will be cleared of military low flying aircraft.
Clearance for emergency services aircraft to enter the HRA will be
given by Scottish Area Control Centre in conjunction with the LFBC
and Kinloss Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
SI 1981/1171 as amended by SI 1995/1291."

2017-6-20
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Nigel_
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Note that the same situation exists over the highlands of Wales where you may often encounter military aircraft flying well below 400ft during restricted hours, however the times are different and they do fly in the mornings.
2017-6-20
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Simon Child
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-20 01:20
Note that the same situation exists over the highlands of Wales where you may often encounter military aircraft flying well below 400ft during restricted hours, however the times are different and they do fly in the mornings.

That's very helpful, thanks.

Where did you look up those details? If I Google a string from your post above "Flight permitted outside the published hours of the Highlands Restricted Area" it finds only one hit, which is not an official reference source but is a google earth link. So that begs the question as to where to find the official (and possibly more up to date) source of that info.

Thanks
2017-6-20
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Nigel_
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Simon Child Posted at 2017-6-20 23:06
That's very helpful, thanks.

Where did you look up those details? If I Google a string from your post above "Flight permitted outside the published hours of the Highlands Restricted Area" it finds only one hit, which is not an official reference source but is a google earth link. So that begs the question as to where to find the official (and possibly more up to date) source of that info.

I think the best link I can give is:
http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/moda ... =detail&id=2586

...which should show updates if the document is updated,

It is an interesting read, apparently our military pilots sometimes fly training missions at only 100ft    When I have encountered them that low I have always assumed they had made a mistake, especially when their wingspans are sometimes more than 100ft.

If you are looking for something specific then press "search again" for the CAA's document search.
2017-6-21
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Nigel_
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Simon Child Posted at 2017-6-20 23:06
That's very helpful, thanks.

Where did you look up those details? If I Google a string from your post above "Flight permitted outside the published hours of the Highlands Restricted Area" it finds only one hit, which is not an official reference source but is a google earth link. So that begs the question as to where to find the official (and possibly more up to date) source of that info.


And for the low flying timetable - times when you should not be in the air in a training area (mainly North Wales and the Highlands of Scotland) without checking with the RAF:

https://www.gov.uk/government/pu ... -training-timetable
2017-6-21
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Nigel_
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I didn't install Drone Assist since it wanted all my contact details for unexplained reasons and seemed to be from a private company wanting to make money from me rather than being the official CAA app that it pretends to be.

How have you been finding it?  Sounds like it is a bit useless if it doesn't give you the safety information you need to know when it's purpose is supposed to be keeping us safe!?
2017-6-21
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Simon Child
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-21 00:57
And for the low flying timetable - times when you should not be in the air in a training area (mainly North Wales and the Highlands of Scotland) without checking with the RAF:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/operational-low-flying-training-timetable

That's a very helpful link - in case you hadn't guessed I will be in the highlands later next week : )

Thanks
2017-6-21
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Simon Child
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-21 01:18
I didn't install Drone Assist since it wanted all my contact details for unexplained reasons and seemed to be from a private company wanting to make money from me rather than being the official CAA app that it pretends to be.

How have you been finding it?  Sounds like it is a bit useless if it doesn't give you the safety information you need to know when it's purpose is supposed to be keeping us safe!?

It has shown me the mapped restricted areas, but does not really tell me how to interpret them - so some use but not as helpful as it might have been.
2017-6-21
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Nigel_
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Simon Child Posted at 2017-6-21 14:18
That's a very helpful link - in case you hadn't guessed I will be in the highlands later next week : )

Thanks


Enjoy your trip

If you will have someone with you who can be a spotter then it may be worth looking up the FPV rules for model aircraft, being able to go up to towards 1000ft altitude instead of the normal 400ft from the ground or valley side can be very worthwhile in the more mountainous areas where generally there will be no aircraft outside of training times, but make sure that if a rescue helicopter appears over or around the nearest hill then you will be able to give way in time.   The spotters job is to look out for and listen out for other aircraft, and also warn you if you are about to fly out of sight and loose radio contact while you are busy looking at the tablet screen, a easy job to do for someone with a little common sense.

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/moda ... =detail&id=7891
2017-6-22
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embayweather
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YOu might also check for NOTAMs on your trip. This may give you warnigns for your area of any unusual activity going on there in addition to teh military trainign schedules. I always look at them each morning.
2017-6-22
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Simon Child
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-22 03:07
Enjoy your trip

If you will have someone with you who can be a spotter then it may be worth looking up the FPV rules for model aircraft, being able to go up to towards 1000ft altitude instead of the normal 400ft from the ground or valley side can be very worthwhile in the more mountainous areas where generally there will be no aircraft outside of training times, but make sure that if a rescue helicopter appears over or around the nearest hill then you will be able to give way in time.   The spotters job is to look out for and listen out for other aircraft, and also warn you if you are about to fly out of sight and loose radio contact while you are busy looking at the tablet screen, a easy job to do for someone with a little common sense.

That's interesting, I wasn't aware of that 1000ft rule, will look that up. Thanks.
2017-6-22
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Nigel_
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Simon Child Posted at 2017-6-22 22:28
That's interesting, I wasn't aware of that 1000ft rule, will look that up. Thanks.

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/moda ... =detail&id=7891
2017-6-23
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Simon Child
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-23 01:00
http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=7891

That's an interesting exemption to the 400ft rule, never heard of that before but could be very useful, so long as I can count my wife as a 'competent observer' : )
2017-6-24
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Simon Child
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-21 00:57
And for the low flying timetable - times when you should not be in the air in a training area (mainly North Wales and the Highlands of Scotland) without checking with the RAF:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/operational-low-flying-training-timetable

If I'm reading this correctly

https://www.gov.uk/government/up ... ble_WC_26_Jun_O.pdf

these restrictions are additional to the Highlands Restricted Area (HRA) rules which apply between 1500 and 2300 Winter, 1400 and 2200 Summer Mon to Thu

This is getting more complicated and restrictive but glad I looked into it.

Thanks for your pointers

2017-6-24
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Nigel_
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My understanding is that the HRA rules say when the area is available to them, the timetable is when they intend to actually use it, the weather will determine if they actually do use it - since they normally only fly in good visibility, if there is low cloud or mist then you can phone them to see if they have cancelled flying for the day.  Also they may cancel if they get more good weather than expected and complete the training.

It's a bit confusing since the timetable includes Friday flying, I assume that will be in an area of Northern Scotland other than the Highlands, for example they may be doing supersonic flying out beyond the Northern Isles which wont bother you since you can't fly far enough from land to reach a supersonic area.

If you are not sure then they will probably be very happy to explain on the freephone.
2017-6-24
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G37 Mavic Pro
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-6-20 01:11
Yes, you can fly, as long as you don't fly when the RAF are practicing.  Basically you can fly in the mornings, weekends (Friday to Sunday) and on public holidays, otherwise you should either check the RAF timetable carefully or call them to get permission.

http://www.noflydrones.co.uk/  is a good site to start with since it will give the names of the restricted areas allowing you to look them up elsewhere.

Thanks for sharing
2019-7-31
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A J
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Many issues with NATS these days - use the DJI geo map
2019-8-10
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Ben F
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Ye it is pretty confusing. Having spoken to the CAA, they have said that anything restricted is restricted unless you have a commercial permission. With the commercial permission, you can apply for additional permissions to fly in restricted areas. I found the regulations on this website pretty handy... dronephotographybible.com/drone-regulations-united-kingdom/
2019-10-2
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mn037608\
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Is anyone aware of reciprocity for US FAA Part 107 Pilots?  Heading out to aide a sister plant in the UK and thought I'd complete some inspections for them ... Not a lot of info on the above website on whether my commercial status allows me to complete this work as an employee of the same company in the UK.
2019-11-19
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