Operating in Belfast and other Congested Areas

The CAA definition of a congested area reads: "In relation to a city, town or settlement, means any area which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes."

To operate a drone freely inside the limits of a city, town of any other congested area, there is a separate permission required called a "Congested Areas Operating Safety Case" (CAOSC). These are not handed out lightly and in fact are nearly impossible to obtain, given the associated risks.

Without this special permission it is illegal to fly a drone in a congested area within 50 metres of any object or person not under the pilot's control. This severely restricts the options when flying over a city, limiting flights to very specific areas and conditions that must be met.

Belfast is Class D Airspace. This means that permission must be sought from Air Traffic Control before any flights can take place.

If you have requirements for work over a congested area, please get in touch to discuss the options.

Flying at night

As standard with the Permission for Aerial Work, the CAA allow drone flight half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset. Beyond this there is a special permission required.

Can you fly in the rain?

Flying in the rain is not possible. The drone can fly in wind speeds of up to 30mph, but performance will start to suffer a little.

Safety and crowds

Safety is the primary concern. I will not fly over dense crowds. For more complex jobs where a smaller number of people are involved, I use a second observer to provide an additional level of safety.

Can you fly indoors?

Yes I can. Operating indoors is not subject to any rules or regulations, but I will need to recce the site to determine factors that may affect insurance.