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National Trust
382 17 2018-10-2
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Geoff Goy
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Can anybody here please enlighten me as to the legally enforceable regulations that the Nation Trust insist that qualified (i.e. PfCO) pilots follow?

With reference to their web page https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk ... rones-at-our-places, they claim:

1) "All aerial activity above our sites is prohibited unless specific permission is granted, according to an existing byelaw"
I've yet to track down the byelaw they refer to - can anyone help out?

2) "CAA regulations state that drones should not be flown above or near to people."

True - but this is not legally enforceable. The only CAA regulations that can be legally enforced are flight above 400' agl and within 1km of airport / aerodrome boundaries.

The rest of their 'regulations' concern situations that no self-respecting PfCO drone operator would 'contravene' in any case, such as remaining further than 50m from people and properties and 150m from crowds and built up areas. Neither of these are however currently legally enforceable, as far as I'm aware.
2018-10-2
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A CW
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UK CAA regulations state that you are not allowed to fly within a 50m / 165' radius of people, vehicles, buildings that are not in your control. If the area is therefore not deemed as 'congested' you can fly over small groups of people and a building as long as you are 165' to 400' above them. The 50m rule relates to the DPA rather than specifically aviation law i.e. to uphold privacy if the UAV has a camera.
The airspace is controlled by the CAA and NOT the National Trust. They have every right to prohibit you from taking off and landing within the boundaries of their land but as soon as the drone is off the ground they have no legal right to dictate any laws that undermine the national civil aviation authority that reports directly to the department of transport/national government. It is important to note that if you crash then you have landed on their property and they can get you for that so the risk is there and some of their buildings are tourist attractions and may be considered land marks which would warrant a definition of being congested. The open land areas with the odd building and small groups of people however are not. So if you take off outside of a designated Nation Trust boundary, ascend to at least 165' and fly over their land and away from large groups/important structures whilst maintaining VLOS of the drone then in the strictest legal terms you are not doing anything wrong and it would be very difficult for them to bring forward a successful prosecution - that's for rec purposes - using their land to further a business for commercial activity without permission may have different legalties involved.

2018-10-2
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embayweather
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I agree completely.
2018-10-2
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Nigel_
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They do have the right do make a byelaw that would restrict what you can do on the ground, such as operating a drone.  However they would then have to get that byelaw approved by government, and I suspect government would consider that the CAA rules are what should be used and are sufficient, so would be unlikely to give approval.  The government is not normally willing to restrict peoples rights when not necessary and without appropriate public consultation.

I have also failed to find the NT byelaw they mention.  Some other organisations, such as Dartmoor National Park do have such a byelaw in place which they could enforce if they wanted to.  But in all cases they can only restrict what you do on their ground so the claim "All aerial activity above our sites is prohibited" is ridiculous, that Boeing 747 flying over at 40,000ft is not something they have any right to control and a drone at 400ft wouldn't be either.  Once you get down below tree/building height then possibly they could, although with byelaws, even if they can find it, they would have to ask you to stop first and only if you failed to do so could they prosecute you and even then the fine would be small enough that it would probably be good value!

I think if you stick to the CAA rules, including the Drone Code (PfCO or not), then you have little to worry about until they ask you to stop.  If you choose to disobey a request to stop then it could get difficult, they can probably request that you leave their land.  On most NT land, most NT wardens will be happy for you to enjoy the place anyway as long as you are not disturbing the other visitors or wildlife.  Around their buildings and gardens, even beyond 50m it is not really appropriate to be flying anyway, you don't have control of other people and you will be disturbing other visitors.  And that is not just with drones, my visit to Stourhead last year was somewhat spoilt by a light aircraft which seemed to be making tourist trips to view the autumn colours in the gardens from minimum altitude, and presumably without paying entry fee.  It may have been allowed to fly down the valley at 500ft but it was certainly causing an unwanted disturbance to everyone else!

If it is a commercial flight to film their property, there may not be a legal requirement for you pay any fee, but surly some payment would be appropriate, it is a charity and it is because of their work that you want to fly there!

2018-10-2
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Nigel_
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"Neither of these are however currently legally enforceable, as far as I'm aware"

Not sure what you mean by this, clearly 50m from people is enforceable by the CAA...
2018-10-2
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Geoff Goy
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A CW Posted at 2018-10-2 03:22
UK CAA regulations state that you are not allowed to fly within a 50m / 165' radius of people, vehicles, buildings that are not in your control. If the area is therefore not deemed as 'congested' you can fly over small groups of people and a building as long as you are 165' to 400' above them. The 50m rule relates to the DPA rather than specifically aviation law i.e. to uphold privacy if the UAV has a camera.
The airspace is controlled by the CAA and NOT the National Trust. They have every right to prohibit you from taking off and landing within the boundaries of their land but as soon as the drone is off the ground they have no legal right to dictate any laws that undermine the national civil aviation authority that reports directly to the department of transport/national government. It is important to note that if you crash then you have landed on their property and they can get you for that so the risk is there and some of their buildings are tourist attractions and may be considered land marks which would warrant a definition of being congested. The open land areas with the odd building and small groups of people however are not. So if you take off outside of a designated Nation Trust boundary, ascend to at least 165' and fly over their land and away from large groups/important structures whilst maintaining VLOS of the drone then in the strictest legal terms you are not doing anything wrong and it would be very difficult for them to bring forward a successful prosecution - that's for rec purposes - using their land to further a business for commercial activity without permission may have different legalties involved.

Thanks - that makes a lot of sense
2018-10-2
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Geoff Goy
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Nigel_ Posted at 2018-10-2 03:44
"Neither of these are however currently legally enforceable, as far as I'm aware"

Not sure what you mean by this, clearly 50m from people is enforceable by the CAA...

Not sure how the CAA could enforce this in practise, but I was referring to a legally enforceable regulation. The only CAA regulations that have been adopted as law are the 400' agl and 1km from airport boundaries, as far as I'm aware?
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Geoff Goy
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Nigel_ Posted at 2018-10-2 03:42
They do have the right do make a byelaw that would restrict what you can do on the ground, such as operating a drone.  However they would then have to get that byelaw approved by government, and I suspect government would consider that the CAA rules are what should be used and are sufficient, so would be unlikely to give approval.  The government is not normally willing to restrict peoples rights when not necessary and without appropriate public consultation.

I have also failed to find the NT byelaw they mention.  Some other organisations, such as Dartmoor National Park do have such a byelaw in place which they could enforce if they wanted to.  But in all cases they can only restrict what you do on their ground so the claim "All aerial activity above our sites is prohibited" is ridiculous, that Boeing 747 flying over at 40,000ft is not something they have any right to control and a drone at 400ft wouldn't be either.  Once you get down below tree/building height then possibly they could, although with byelaws, even if they can find it, they would have to ask you to stop first and only if you failed to do so could they prosecute you and even then the fine would be small enough that it would probably be good value!

Good response - many thanks
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Geoff Goy Posted at 2018-10-2 05:16
Thanks - that makes a lot of sense

Thanks - but don't blame me if they try to confiscate your drone, call the police and sue you hahahaha I'm sure they won't
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A CW
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Geoff Goy Posted at 2018-10-2 05:18
Not sure how the CAA could enforce this in practise, but I was referring to a legally enforceable regulation. The only CAA regulations that have been adopted as law are the 400' agl and 1km from airport boundaries, as far as I'm aware?

And visual line of sight. All stated in the ANO. The rest are guidelines written into the CAA drone code which is more of an advisory document to uphold safety and is not law, unlike the ANO. That is why you could legally fly a drone up to 1,000' AGL before July this year and not be prosecuted providing your flight did not place manned aircraft at risk. It was clearly a flaw written before drones were popular and that is why it is now a legal directive/criminal offence to fly a drone higher than 400' AGL from July 2018. The 1KM from an airport boundary was a bit of a shock! It's five miles in the US...  
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Geoff Goy
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A CW Posted at 2018-10-2 05:23
Thanks - but don't blame me if they try to confiscate your drone, call the police and sue you hahahaha I'm sure they won't

LOL!! They'll have to catch me first!

Seriously though, I always adhere to the CAA 'guidelines' for obvious safety reasons. Privacy issues seem a little less clear, so I try whenever possible to address those prior to a commercial flight. I just get fed up with organisations like the NT trying to ride roughshod over responsible operators. They think their size and so-called 'power' give them the right to apply laws that don't actually exist.

Sorry, rant over......
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A CW
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Geoff Goy Posted at 2018-10-2 05:39
LOL!! They'll have to catch me first!

Seriously though, I always adhere to the CAA 'guidelines' for obvious safety reasons. Privacy issues seem a little less clear, so I try whenever possible to address those prior to a commercial flight. I just get fed up with organisations like the NT trying to ride roughshod over responsible operators. They think their size and so-called 'power' give them the right to apply laws that don't actually exist.

I totally agree. Some organisations need to know their place and are clearly ill informed. Fly by the book if near those areas and in most cases you'll be fine.
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Nigel_
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Geoff Goy Posted at 2018-10-2 05:18
Not sure how the CAA could enforce this in practise, but I was referring to a legally enforceable regulation. The only CAA regulations that have been adopted as law are the 400' agl and 1km from airport boundaries, as far as I'm aware?

You have to comply with the Air Navigation Order, which includes:

"95.—(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"
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Geoff Goy
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Nigel_ Posted at 2018-10-2 06:15
You have to comply with the Air Navigation Order, which includes:

"95.—(1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft

Thanks, as a PfCO holder I'm fully aware of those, and abide by them rigorously. The National Trust however claim to be able to legally prevent me from overflying their land, which I'm not convinced they can do. I did find a copy of their byelaws which were drawn up in 1965 and contain no reference to drones (naturally!) or overflying their land - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk ... st-byelaws-1965.pdf
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Nigel_
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Geoff Goy Posted at 2018-10-2 06:28
Thanks, as a PfCO holder I'm fully aware of those, and abide by them rigorously. The National Trust however claim to be able to legally prevent me from overflying their land, which I'm not convinced they can do. I did find a copy of their byelaws which were drawn up in 1965 and contain no reference to drones (naturally!) or overflying their land - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk ... st-byelaws-1965.pdf


It is interesting that the "Recreational Activities at National Trust Properties - Guiding Principles and Good Practice" document welcomes kite flying and unpowered flight, and for powered flight contains: "The codes of conduct contained in the BMFA Members’ Handbook have been developed in response to Article 51. Wherever model flying takes place these codes must be used."

So the statement you found about all aerial activity being prohibited doesn't match their code of good practice and guiding principles!

http://www.tourisminsights.info/ ... NATIONAL%20TRUST%20(2000),%20Recreational%20Activities%20at%20National%20Trust%20Properties,%20NT,%20London..pdf
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Geoff Goy
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Nigel_ Posted at 2018-10-2 06:53
It is interesting that the "Recreational Activities at National Trust Properties - Guiding Principles and Good Practice" document welcomes kite flying and unpowered flight, and for powered flight contains: "The codes of conduct contained in the BMFA Members’ Handbook have been developed in response to Article 51. Wherever model flying takes place these codes must be used."

So the statement you found about all aerial activity being prohibited doesn't match their code of good practice and guiding principles!

I'm not sure that the document clearly refers to powered flight. All it states is:

"The overall body in charge of airspace rules is the Civil Aviation Authority. Article 51 of the Air
Navigation Order (1985) states that:
‘A person shall not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.’
This law covers all model flying, whatever the size or weight of the aircraft. The codes of
conduct contained in the BMFA Members’ Handbook have been developed in response to
Article 51. Wherever model flying takes place these codes must be used. Models that are over
7kg are subject to further regulations."

I can't find a copy of the 1985 ANO, so I'm not sure this specifically includes motorised aircraft (maybe it does....), which were previously excluded, vis:

"The National Trust welcomes non-powered model flying on its land, recognising that the
activity seldom causes significant disturbance, provided particular care is taken with regard
to other visitors, livestock and birds."
2018-10-2
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embayweather
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Geoff Goy Posted at 2018-10-2 07:43
I'm not sure that the document clearly refers to powered flight. All it states is:

"The overall body in charge of airspace rules is the Civil Aviation Authority. Article 51 of the Air

The last paragraph was written a long time before electric motors became popular with drones etc., and was probably based around model combustion engines. Perhaps now is the time for the NT to catch up with the real world.
2018-10-3
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Geoff Goy
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embayweather Posted at 2018-10-3 03:59
The last paragraph was written a long time before electric motors became popular with drones etc., and was probably based around model combustion engines. Perhaps now is the time for the NT to catch up with the real world.

Totally agree!
2018-10-3
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