How Close can you Fly a Drone to People and Buildings

I have recently seen lots more drones flying closer to persons in public areas, I thought they had to stay 50m away from people?.

A2 CofC

You would of become used to not seeing many drones in busy places such as high streets etc.  but a new set of drone regulations came into force on the last day of 2020 that allow drones greater access to busy areas depending on their weight and proven competence of the remote pilot.

A drone under 250g may fly near you and even above you though the remote pilot may not endanger you with their drone.

A drone between 250g and 500g may fly near but not above you, the pilot of a drone in this weight range must have completed a basic drone course with a certified drone school.  The course is called an A2 CofC and usually done online.

Drones between 500g & 2kg must stay 50m horizontally away from you unless you have given permission to the pilot for the drone to fly closer, this is applies if you are sat in your home or vehicle. The pilot of a drone in this weight range must also have completed a basic A2 CofC drone course with our certified drone school.

Drones above 2kg and under 25kg must stay 50m horizontally away from people but also 150m away from residential, commercial, industrial and recreational areas if their pilot has not successfully completed a more complex course, this course is called a GVC course.

So prepare to see more drones in built up areas but in most cases these will be small drones that the CAA deem to pose not much of a safety risk to passers by.   A very large drone in the high street is probably flying under a special permission from the UK Civil Aviation Authority where the operator has jumped through lots of hoops to prove the drone as safe and pilot as competent.  You may still ask to see their certificates and authorisation to fly such drones in these areas if you feel unsafe.

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