CAA Rules on distance….

In the CAA Rules, how close is close? How close can your drone/UAV be to a person or property not under your control?

CAA Rules

It seems that the CAA have been inundated with requests for clarification on the hallowed 50 meter rule from studious UAV pilots all the way through to concerned authorities looking to secure a prosecution.

As a commercial UAV pilots we are constantly being bombarded by members of the public, property owners and authorities, demanding that we go away. “You’re flying illegally” “you should be ……yadadada,”.


This is normally based on incorrect information and mis-interpritation of the regulations.

However, more concerning, are reports from the U.S.A of UAV/drone operators flying with a handgun in the back pocket. Why? To protect themselves from irate members of the public looking to take matters into their own hands and rid the skies of the “privacy invaders”.

To-day via the ARPAS-UK,  the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released clarification to the “distance from” question.  The big news is, that there is no big news. It is still down to interruption, however the CAA suggest you, “Think of it as a bubble”.

Members of the public who have an issue with the proximity of a drone/UAV are basing the 50 m rule on a horizontal measurement. In fairness, why wouldn’t you? After all It’s the easiest measurement to take, simplest one to gauge with landmarks, even some UAV/Drone pilots swear it’s the method to use.

But ask any 12 year old studying mathematics at school, and they will direct you to Pythagorus.

The CAA Rules.

The CAA Rules say, As a pilot, if you were standing 50 m away from an uncontrolled person on the ground as per your PFAW, with the drone at 50 m vertical above the you.

In this example, the drone/UAV would be 70.71 m away from the person not under your control. Over 20 m further away than you are legally required to be.

To help, ikopta have produced a short film to explain further.

For more the full statement released to the ARPAS-UK, click (here).