• Iliyas Campbell

Are You In The Red Zone?

Living or working in proximity to an airport or other sensitive facilities can have some challenges. You might also wonder if it's possible to engage the services of a drone pilot at your location when you feel its needed. If you're concerned about it, rest assured it can be done safely and legally.

There are numerous Flight Restriction Zones (FRZ) around the country mainly related to airport, prisons, and other high risk facilities but each can be dealt with and flown within given a bit of planning and coordination with local and national authorities. Flying within these areas is illegal without the permission from Air Traffic Control of other relevant authority. In all FRZ's the relevant authority must give permission for drone flights prior to take off.

So how do you handle this when you contract a drone operator? The simple answer is, you don't! The drone operator is the one that must secure all permissions including permission to take of and land from the land owner, and permission to fly in the FRZ. It's a fairly simple process and can be done quickly when the correct documentation and information is provided to the authorities.

In this short example we had a flight within the Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) of Glasgow Airport. The FRZ is the red circle you see in the pictures here with the small extensions - that follow the path of the runway. Being close to the airport is always going to be a matter of concern due to the risk to aviation in the area. You only have to recall the debacle at Gatwick with drones reported on the flight path to realise how big a story that can become!

Approvals were sought from the NATS the Aeronautical Information Service provider working on conjunction with Air Traffic Control at Glasgow. Whilst some facilities request up to 21 days notice we submitted our request and had our initial approval in 20 minutes.

The final step was to call Police Scotland on the morning of the flight to obtain an Incident Number and inform Air Traffic Control 30 minutes before our first flight to get final approval for take off. A quick response from the Authorities and we were good to go. The client simply had to sit back and let us manage the process.

Job done!

So, if you're close to an airport, prison, nuclear site, military base etc and need services provided by a drone operator, give us a call and we will make it happen.

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