Traverse 19 – Keeping Legal & Safe with your Drone

Traverse 19 – Keeping Legal & Safe with your Drone

Thank you for coming to our talk at #Traverse19 in Trentino about Keeping Safe and Legal with your Drone. Below are the links we talked about. If you didn’t make it, no problem, have a read anyway! Any questions, please email me at

Keeping Legal & Safe with your Drone

Alan from Clear Flight Drones and I are both fully qualified CAA PfCO Drone Pilots. We fly for fun and for remuneration. We are not the drone police, we just want you to fly your drone safely and legally.

The Drone Code from the CAA in the UK

The Drone Code from the CAA
The Drone Code from the CAA

Don’t fly near airports or airfields

Remember to stay below 400ft (120m)

Observe your drone at all times – stay 150ft (50m) away from people & property

Never fly near aircraft

Enjoy responsibly

For more information go to:

Keep your drone in Visual Line of Sight
Keep your drone in Visual Line of Sight – 500m
Remember 400ft (120m) is from GROUND level
Remember 400ft (120m) is from GROUND level
Keep your drone a minimum of 5km from airports
Keep your drone a minimum of 5km from Airports
Keep your drone under 400ft (120m)
Keep your drone under 400ft (120m)
Keep 5000 ft (150m) from congested areas and crowds
You are responsible for your drone at all times
You are responsible for your drone at all times

Drone Insurance

Why should you be insured for every flight? In case of drone failures, accidents, loss, theft but also what happens if you hit something or someone? You can insure your drone for individual flights or have cover for all eventualities.

Flock Drone Insurance

  • Insurance for professional as well as recreational flyers
  • One-off flight insurance
  • Up to £25K drone and accessory cover
  • Public Liability insurance up to £10M
  • All done through app
  • Fly Unlimited for PfCO holders only. Monthly payment with extra for different countries

Fancy getting your next drone flight insured for free? Download the Flock Cover app and enter the referral code: INFO170. This will instantly unlock a free Flock Pay-as-you-fly policy (with a of £10). If you’re after more free cover, be sure to share your Flock referral code with your drone pilot friends!

Moonrock Drone Insurance

  • Breach of Data Protection Act
  • Multi pilot cover available per policy
  • Flights over higher risk premises 
  • Fully flexible policies
  • Hired In Drones
  • Theft
  • Practice Flights
  • Cyber Attack
  • Storm and flood
  • Invasion of Privacy
  • Business Continuity
  • CQNET*
  • Worldwide inc USA and Canada
  • All Moonrock policies comply with Regulation (EC) 785/2004 as required by the CAA
  • Personally owned and hired-in equipment (gimbals, tablets and chargers)
  • Night flights

Click for more information on Moonrock Drone Insurance.

Are you fit to fly?

Do remember it is not only your drone that needs to be in tip-top condition, but you do too. Don’t fly under the drugs, alcohol (did you know you can now be imprisoned in Japan for flying drunk?) or when you are feeling unwell. Your judgement, coordination and response times can be impaired.

International Drone Flying

Countries That Have Banned Drones (or make it really hard to fly)

We would all love to fly our drones anywhere we want in the world, but sadly some countries have outright bans on drones (they could even be confiscated on arrival!). Other countries (see the ones in bold below) make it so difficult to comply with all their laws and restrictions, that you might as well leave your drone at home.

  • Nicaragua
  • Morocco
  • France
  • Austria
  • Fiji
  • Zambia
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kenya
  • Iran
  • India
  • Ethiopia
  • Barbados
  • Kuwait
  • Madagascar
  • Senegal
  • Syria
  • North Korea
  • Canada

So, how do you find out the regulations in the country you want to fly in? There are several websites which give guidelines, but I am never sure quite how up-to-date they are. The best way is to go to the country’s own equivalent of the CAA website and find out the latest regulations.

European and International Directives

EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, are currently working on a white paper to try to standardise Drone Laws in Europe.

On 11 June 2019 the EU UAS Regulation Package was published outlining new Europe wide regulations. These are will not come into force until later, but if you want to read more click here for the CAA CAP 1789 – The EU UAS Regulation Package – Outline. At the moment, it is the intention that these regulations will apply to the operation of unmanned aircraft in the UK from 1 July 2020.

UK Drone Registration

In November 2019, all drones between 250g and 20kg will have to be registered in the UK.

There will be an Online Test and an annual cost of £16.50.


EASA - European Aviation Safety Agency
EASA – European Aviation Safety Agency

EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) European aviation law.


ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organisation
ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organisation

ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) International aviation law

Making Money from your Drone

Ah, the lovely topic of using your drone to make you money! In most countries, you cannot use your drone for any remuneration unless you are qualified or licensed in that country.

What is Remuneration?

  • Money
  • Accommodation
  • Flights
  • Clothes
  • Products
  • Yes, even a pint of beer!

If you want to offer your drone footage to Brands or for sale in the UK you must have a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) from the CAA. It is a 3 stage process: Classroom followed by an exam, Operations Manual detailing who you are, what you fly and how you are going to do it, and finally your actual flight test. To find out more read my article on How to become a Qualified CAA PfCO Drone Pilot.

The Drone Bloggers

Potentially you can be fined for selling your images and footage, and the brands can be fined too. So, I am setting up a new website called The Drone Bloggers, which aims to be a portal for brands to find bloggers who are also qualified drone pilots to work with. You can register on the site to be one of the first to find out when the site is launched.

Some of the Apps and Kit We Use


AirMap App – Information about weather, conditions and advisories for your flight. The AirMap is available for Android and iOS and can be used worldwide.

AirMap App – Worldwide Use for IOS and Android

Drone Assist – similar to the AirMap app, but for the UK only. Developed by NATS, the UK’s main air traffic control provider and available for Android and iOS.

Drone Assist App – UK Use for IOS and Android

UAV Forecast – Available worldwide and UAV Forecast gives information about wind speed and direction, weather, GPS and Satellites and a prediction if it is good to fly as well as notification of airports in the vicinity. Available for Android and iOS.

UAV Forecast App – Worldwide Use for IOS and Android

SD Light Sky Demon‘s app for the UK. Shows NFZ (No Fly Zones) and you can map out a flight route. It also shows NOTAMS. I have the Light version and to be honest don’t use it much, just to check where airports are.

SkyWiseSkyWise is the CAA app which can give you alerts and restrictions in airspace in the UK.

Drone Kit

Some of the kit we use when we fly in the UK either for commercial flights or fun ones – have a look at my post on What I have in my Drone Kit for more information.

Any questions, please email me at