UAV Tips – the Drone Code explained

Recently, we started our ‘UAV Tips’ series, helping to shed light on some of the most confusing but important aspects of flying a drone commercially. To start, we covered preparing your operations manual, but as the subject of safety and flying responsibly is becoming a heated topic in the sector, this month we’re explaining the in’s and out’s of the Drone Code.

What is the Drone Code?
Following on from rising reports of ‘near misses’ of drones and commercial aircraft, a new app was released last December. Called Drone Assist, it aims to help give new and existing pilots a simple way to understand the basic rules of flying. As part of this move, the CAA updated its Drone Code, a series of guidelines to also encourage safety in the sector. The full PDF can be viewed here.

What do I need to know as a commercial drone pilot?
While the official Drone Code document outlines all the information needed to keep all of your missions safe and within the legal boundaries here is a ‘quick fire’ list of what you need to know:

Always fly below 400ft (120m) and keep your drone in sight
Flying at this altitude means that there is less chance of you colliding with aircraft, while keeping your drone in sight means you have constant control.

Stay clear of aircraft and airports
This may sound obvious, but this is important for the safety of you and others. There are plenty of other suitable spaces to fly!

Fly 150ft (50m) away from people and properties
This includes individuals on the ground, domestic and smaller buildings.

And 500ft (150m) from bigger, built up areas and large crowds
Such as large city environments and public places such as stadiums, concerts and markets.

You are legally responsible for your drone
Failing to pay attention to these rules can do more that result in disgruntled passers-by, and you could end up with a criminal conviction! Drone safety is serious business, so it is important to treat it with respect in order to avoid prosecution.

The team at UAVAir are drone experts, ensuring all candidates leave our UAQ course with a full understanding of the Drone Code, and all other drone safety guidelines. However, we know that it can be confusing to those just getting started in the sector!

If you have any queries about the Drone Code or the rules of flying your drone, don’t hesitate to contact our team today by calling +44 (0)208 0450 508