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Airspace Classification in UK


Airspace Classification in UK

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Elfin
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Can someone confirm my assumptions on the following:

If flying a drone under 7kg in weight in close proximity to an airport, but beyond 3 mile radius from airfield, if the location is for example close to any international airport such as Newcastle Airport and therefore falls within Class D Airspace as per the Skydemon map, am I correct in thinking that although it is shown as Class D Airspace, provided the proposed flight remains under 400 feet this becomes class G airspace ?

Am I right or have I got this wrong ?
Elfin
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Can any experienced Pilots confirm my assumptions of Airspace Class if flying a UAV below 400 feet in UK airspace
srayne
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Class D extends all the way to the ground there is no change at 400ft, Try posting this on a more relevant forum for more detailed answers.
Elfin
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Thanks for the feedback.  

Can you suggest a more relevant forum.  This is surely a relevant question as it relates to Airspace classifications shown on SkyDemon
tijssel
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No you can't and you shouldn't. When you look in Skydemon at Newcastle and press on the orange part (CTR) around the airfield you see that the class D airspace is from surface to up to flight level 105 or 10,500 ft. Flying in the CTR is sticktly prohibited and dangerous for the plains flying there as they are unable to detect the drone.

Regards,
Tom
Elfin
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Well this is strange as I have flown UAVs within the area shown on Skydemon as class D for Newcastle airport, but have always phoned the local ATC and asked for permission in advance.  Their response is generally "Yeah thats not a problem" and I have never been prevented to date.

I can see the Class D airspace zone for Newcastle is from Surface to FL105.

This is why I thought  that because I operate under the 400 feet agl height restriction for UAVs, it reverts to Class G.   Think I may quiz the ATC Officer of the watch next time I call them for permission as I want to stay within the limits and be responsible.  This is why I posted this question here to learn and get things clarified.

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it.
srayne
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It's not strange at all. By telephoning the appropriate ATC and telling them what you are doing (i.e. submitting a flight plan) and obtaining permission you are operating under a 'clearance' to enter class 'D' airspace and will be subject to ATC 'control', this will have been agreed during your phone call (e.g. altitude/location/duration limits). This is the same procedure used by any non-radio aircraft to enter/transit controlled airspace.

Have a read of: https://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1995&pageid=16012 
and http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%20393%20Fourth%20edition%20Amendment%201%20April%202015.pdf

You may like to get more info about ATC issues from the horse's mouth here.

PS I think it is commendable that you are seeking this advice and contacting ATC before flight.

Simon
Edited
9/6/2015 7:08:43 AM by srayne
Elfin
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Thanks for your welcome comments.

I have a worry about the CAA wording though :
"within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or"

For example if I was wanting to take pictures of one building and there was an adjacent building within 50m if you are not the legal owner of that adjoining building it will never be under your control from a legal stance, and if you can't get the permission from the adjoining owner does this mean you can't fly over the building  that you do have control over and have the legal owners consent.  
Seems very "grey" wording by the CAA and I would prefer if it was more specific.

I would just like to say that I am really grateful and appreciate the help I have been given here and will certainly continue to be responsible and contact the local ATC if I  believe I may be looking to fly in any restricted airspace or indeed if I simply have concerns about a particular location.  Better to be safe than sorry as they say.

Thanks again


srayne
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Elfin (9/6/2015)
does this mean you can't fly over the building  that you do have control over and have the legal owners consent.  
Seems very "grey" wording by the CAA and I would prefer if it was more specific.


I don't see anything grey here - if you are flying within 50m of any building not under your control or any person (who may be inside a building that you do control) you are breaking the law if you have a camera on-board.

You may NOT fly : within 50m your house if anyone's inside it, or if any part of your neighbour's house, garden shed or car is within 50m of your aircraft.

The above only applies if you have a camera or other recording equipment on board.

If you are selling these pictures or in any way getting a financial reward then you are performing 'aerial work' and will require additional permission from the CAA.





Edited
9/6/2015 9:53:46 AM by srayne
Elfin
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Not quite how I read it.  

If you have permission of an owner to fly over his house and the persons in that house know you are undertaking that flight or have even asked you to photograph their property, they are under your control.  It is then up to you as the Pilot to manage that environment and if that means the occupants stay in the building until you're done that is one way it can be managed or if they wanted to watch, they stand beside the Pilot or behind him where he can control them if necessary.  But the important thing is, they are under the Pilots control.

However unless you get it in writing from an adjoining owner that they consent to flying in proximity to their property, within 50m that is where the problem lies.  The way the CAA restrictions are worded e.g. buildings under your control, from a legal view adjoining buildings will never be under your control as you are not the legal owner of that building, so how can you have control.  Well, in my opinion, as long as you notify the adjacent owners of your intentions and have obtained their consent, advised them they should stay indoors for the duration of operations you have managed the environment as best you can.  You just continue to manage and observe the area for anyone who may enter the area then make a decision to terminate of move or ask them politely to stay outside your area of operations.  

Flying over people or within 50m in flight or 30m on take-off and landing is the restriction for people not under your control.  You always have inquisitive people who may wander into the environment, but it is the Pilot in charge of the UAV to put in place procedures to manage that.  This as far as I am aware can be achieved by using additional persons or observers with two way radios to look out for anyone entering the arena of operations and if it was someone undertaking paid work they could I suppose allow for providing cordoned areas to further manage an area.

Obviously if you as the Pilot of the UAV were getting paid for this you would also have to have a license from the CAA.


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