As the number of UAV flying in UK airspace increases day by day there are many who are seeking clarification regarding the CAA UAV rules and regulations. Do I need to contact ATC? Do I need permission? What can I do here, but not there?
The CAA are receiving a lot of enquiries and obtaining a response can be a lengthy process with no guarantee that you’ll receive a response or that it will answer all your questions fully. The onus is on you, the pilot, to inform yourself using the documentation that is freely available online, so that they are at least not answering questions that can be answered by referring to the relevant section of the CAA’s website.
Here is an auto reply from one email that explains this in detail:
We are receiving a very high number of enquiries about Small Unmanned Aircraft (UA) – ‘Drones’ – and the various rules and requirements governing their operation within the UK. Although we will read your e-mail enquiry, it will not always be possible to provide an individual response. Please use the links below to find detailed information for common enquirie
> UK Law: Air Navigation Order (ANO) Articles 166 and 167 pertaining to small unmanned aircraft: www.caa.co.uk/cap393
> Demonstrating pilot competency at a National Qualified Entity (NQE) for the grant of CAA permission to work commercially (‘aerial work’): www.eurousc.com and www.resource-uas.co.uk and www.caa.co.uk/in2014044
> Collecting images with an SUA: Data Protection Act: www.caa.co.uk/in2013027
It is highly recommended that all UAV pilots and operators become familiar with all the above and refer back to this information regularly in order to see if anything has been changed or updated. Consider registering for the CAA’s newsletter service to receive bulletins relating to your area of interest.
All the CAA want to do is make UAV activity safe for everyone in the air and on the ground, so think of these documents as guidance and good advice. Much of it is common sense.