How Does The CAA Handle Drones In The UK?

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How Does The CAA Handle Drones In The UK?

It easy to get caught up in the regulations that govern drone use in your country. In the USA, a drone university like ours teaches the rules and regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I find it interesting to compare and contrast drone laws. This can be done city to city, state to state or even country to country.

The Civil Aviation Authority or CAA is responsible for Britain’s airspace. You can think of them as the UK’s version of the FAA. So how are drone handled “across the pond?”

So far Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority has adopted a light touch in regulating drones. Only those that weigh more than 20kg or are used for commercial purposes need be registered. Instead, the CAA prefers to educate users through its Dronecode video and the advice to “use your common sense and fly sensibly – you could be prosecuted if you don’t”.


  • Make sure you can see your drone at all times and don’t fly higher than 400 feet
  • Always keep your drone away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields
  • Use your common sense and fly safely; you could be prosecuted if you don’t.

Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown:

  • within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures
  • over congested areas or large gatherings such as concerts and sports events
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Logo

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Logo

As the UK’s specialist aviation regulator we ensure that:

  • the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards
  • consumers have choice, value for money, are protected and treated fairly when they fly
  • we drive improvements in airlines and airports’ environmental performance
  • the aviation industry manages security risks effectively.

We are a public corporation, established by Parliament in 1972 as an independent specialist aviation regulator. The UK Government requires that our costs are met entirely from charges to those we provide a service to or regulate.

Most aviation regulation and policy is harmonised across the world to ensure consistent levels of safety and consumer protection. Worldwide safety regulations are set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and within Europe by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

By |2017-08-31T15:23:43-08:00March 25th, 2016|Drones, FAA, International|Comments Off on How Does The CAA Handle Drones In The UK?

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About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at