Drone use in Norwich

September, 2022

There is a lot of miscommunications in relation to the safe and proper use of Drones in Norwich and around the UK. Google is filled with outdated regulations and social media is littered with misinterpreted rules and false information.
Here is our guide to Drone use around our fine city.


Are drones allowed in Norwich?
According to CAA, drones are allowed in Norwich and around a majority of the UK, but subject to regulations.
It is against the law to fly a drone or model aircraft without having the required IDs. You can also be fined for breaking the law when flying.
In order to fly or operate a drone a licence must be obtained unless the drone is defined as a toy, weighs less than 250g, and does not feature a camera.
There are two forms of licence in the UK –
Flyer ID - The flyer is the person who flies the drone or model aircraft.
An online theory test must be passed in order to get a flyer ID. Children under 13 must also pass the test to get a flyer ID.  
Operator ID - The operator is the person responsible for managing a drone or model aircraft. This means they’re responsible for things like maintaining it and making sure that anyone who flies it has a flyer ID. They’re usually the person or organization that owns the drone.

Arlington Park norwich estate agent drone

What are the rules when flying a drone?
There are a basic set of regulations for flying a drone. Following these will ensure you remain in the ‘Open Category’, meaning that you don’t need authorization from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to fly. If you intend to operate outside any of these limits, you must obtain an Operational Authorization beforehand.
The basic requirements for flying are described below:

  • You must pass the online test and hold a relevant ID and display your Operator ID on your drone
  • You are responsible for flying in a safe manner
  • The drone must be in your direct sight at all times while in flight
  • You must not endanger anyone, or anything
  • You must not fly more than 120m above ground
  • The drone must weigh less than 250g
  • You must not fly within a Flight Restriction Zone without permission.

As part of our property marketing service, we utilise a drone which is only operated by one member of the team. That member holds their own operator and flyer ID as well as Insurance. They have completed.

Norwich Drones City

Where are the ‘Restricted Zones’ around Norwich?

Most drones come with a companion smartphone app and most if not all will feature some kind of geofencing map which indicates specific zones within their proximity. We Fly with DJI who are world leaders in drone technology. Below are features based on our experience using their GEO map

Recommended flight: This area is unrestricted and not highlighted on a GEO map. These are the recommended areas for flights

Warning Zones. In these Zones, which may not necessarily appear on an app map, users will be prompted with a warning message. These are mainly in airspace commonly used by low flying aircraft.
Enhanced Warning Zones. In these Zones, operators will be prompted within the drone app at the time of flight to unlock the zone using the same steps as in an Authorization Zone, but you do not require a verified operator ID or an internet connection at the time of your flight.

Authorization Zones. In these Zones, which appear blue, users are prompted with a warning and flight is limited by default. Authorization Zones may be unlocked by authorized users that have a verified operator ID. Carrow Road Stadium is situated in an Authorisation Zone.

Altitude Zones: Altitude zones will appear in grey on the map. Users receive warnings in their drone app and flight altitude is limited to what has been specified by the nearest authority. In Norwich these are set on the flight paths approaching and leaving Norwich Airport
Regulatory Restricted Zones: Due to local regulations and policies, flights are prohibited within the scope of some special areas. For example, over HMP Norwich.

Restricted Zones. In these Zones, drone users are prompted by their flight app with a warning and flight is prevented. The drone will not take off at all. The app blocks all communication to the drone.
If you want to operate in a Restricted Zone, there is a process to request permission, this includes submitting a request with details of the time/date that you wish to fly and a maximum altitude that you require, along with details of your operator ID licence and any insurances you hold. The request is submitted to Norwich Airport who must approve it before you can fly. Once approval has been given Norwich Airport give their authority by email and notify Norfolk Constabulary in the process.
You can now request that the drone manufacturer unlocks the requested zone during the date/time permitted by Norwich Airport. The drone will not fly outside the zone specified and will not go above the allowed altitude. A call must be maid to the control tower at least 30 minutes before you want to start flying. 

Arlington Park norwich estate agent drone

What about privacy?
So far as data protection law is concerned, if a drone has a camera, the pilot should consider the impact of the GDPR on the collection of footage using the device. The Information Commissioner's Office suggests that compliance with data protection law would include making it obvious that you are responsible for the drone and that the drone is capable of filming. The guidance also highlights the importance of ensuring that recording is in appropriate locations – for example, using the drone to purposely film a neighbour’s back garden is obviously likely to infringe their privacy; doing so repeatedly could amount to the offence of harassment.
Arlington Park Estate and Letting Agency uses a drone for the purpose to obtain aerial footage and imagery of a specific property which will be offered for sale or let on the open market. No privacy incursions are intended and in the event that we receive a request for removal, the offending scene or image will be removed or obscured from our marketing.

This blog is intended as a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. For more detailed information please visit - Civil Aviation Authority

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