UAV regulations in UK
Everything and nothing change after 30th July
Yes, the title is a bit confusing but this is the situation literally. Everything is changing for multi-rotors and nothing is changing for conventional model flying like RC helicopters by the date, if...
CAA has published the exemptions for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles flying above 400 feet after the date of new rules entering in force. Because there are exmptions. By our understanding, you can fly your model above 400 feet and up to 1000 feet in FPV mode, as long as it's not a drone which declared by two conditions:
- Cannot be multi-rotor (tri-, quadro-, hexa-, octocopter, etc...)
- Cannot have automatic flying capabilities making the UAV able to fly on its own (like "return to home" functionality)
Thereafter, if you are member of BMFA, SAA, LMA or FPF UK, you are not flying in C or E controlled airspaces or any operational airspace at an airport, airfield or aerodrome or restriced airspaces, the model is not heavier than 7kg (excluding fuel including batteries) your are allowed to fly up as high as you can see, which means there are no legal changes on conventional (aka traditional) model flying after 30th July.
When you are flying in FPV mode with your traditional model (most likely fixed wing aircraft), you are allowed to fly up to 1000 feet, when your model is not heavier than 3.5 kg (INCLUDING fuel), you still respect the traditional model flying rules (150m and 50m rules as before - no flying in cities, above football match, cars, vessels, houses except yours), and you must be supervised or aided by a competent observer - your buddy who is able to control the airspace for you.
These great exemptions are available below. I think United Kingdom has proven again, the tradition as a word has got power in the country. Thanks to the board of UK model flying associations (like BMFA and especially Dave Phipps) and the constructive cooperation of Civil Aviation Authority these really amazing exeptions will enter in force with new UAV airspace regulations together. Therefore we will have no change even after 30th July.