A drone (also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV) is any aircraft that can fly without a human on board. Interest in drone flying has grown considerably in recent years as technology has developed and drones have become increasingly available for civilian use. There have also been a number of high profile incidents in recent months where significant disruption has been caused to airports, caused by the threat to safety presented by drones.
As of March 13, 2019, the drone flight restriction zone around airports and airfields changes. The government has introduced a new rule stating that the 1km restriction from the airfield boundary is replaced by a restriction using the airfield’s existing aerodrome traffic zone, which has a radius of either two or two and a half nautical miles and then five kilometres by one kilometre zones starting from the point known as the ‘threshold’ at the end of the runway.
As of this date, it will be illegal to fly any drone at any time within these restricted zones unless you have permission from air traffic control at the airport or, if air traffic control is not operational, from the airport itself.
The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority have collaborated to create Dronesafe.uk which is designed to help ensure that drone users in the UK can easily access the information they need about how to fly their drones safely and legally, without endangering others. You can find a map of Southampton Airport Flight Restricted Zone and further information on the Drone Safe website here.
All drone operators requiring permission to operate within the Flight Restricted Zone are required to apply via the NATS Airspace User Portal and follow NATs Non Standard Flight application process found here: https://aup.nats.aero/
If you have any questions around the operating drones within the Flight Restricted Zone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org