The skies over the United Kingdom are getting busier by the day- and this is why there are strict regulations governing where commercial drone operators are allowed to fly. There is a general rule covering the entire UK that restricts aerial videographers and drone photographers from flying over 400ft, but there are also a large number of ‘No Fly Zones’ dotted around the UK.

What are the No Fly Zones for?

The No Fly Zones around the UK are there to keep the skies safe. A large proportion of them are focussed around airports and military bases, and there are a number of danger areas, where fighter pilots train for example, that are out of bounds for UAV operators. There are five main No Fly Zones to look out for when planning an aerial video or photography shoot:

HIRTA’s & Danger Areas

HIRTA’s are High Intensity Radio Transmission Areas, flying through these areas could interfere with the electronics on board your drone. Danger areas, as we mentioned earlier, are areas of military airspace that are often used for training fighter pilots for example. There are a lot of these areas to look out for in Wales in particular. 

Prohibited Areas and Flight Restriction Zones

The reasons why these areas are no fly zones varies. Officially, the definition is  “An airspace of defined dimensions above the land areas or territorial waters of a State within which the flight of aircraft is prohibited”.

Controlled Airspace, Aerodromes and Airports

It should be pretty clear as to why these areas are very strictly a no go area for drone pilots. If you are flying a drone above 7kg you must not fly in these areas without prior permission from the air traffic service provider controlling that airspace.

Restricted Areas

Restricted areas are usually there to protect sensitive sights, such as nuclear power stations and prisons. Officially, the definition of a Restricted Area is, “An airspace of defined dimensions above the land areas or territorial waters of a State within which the flight of aircraft is restricted in accordance with certain specified conditions.

Military Aerodrome Traffic Zones

These are similar to civilian Aerodrome Traffic Zones and are in place to protect military aerodrome traffic.

Where can’t I fly a drone in Northamptonshire?

We are quite lucky in Northamptonshire that there aren’t too many No Fly Zones- but we do still have some. For example, the area around Sywell is considered a danger area and is a no fly zone for drone pilots.


Where can I find out more?

There is a fantastic interactive resource for finding out No Fly Zones in Northamptonshire and the rest of the uk here.