Can I fly a drone in controlled airspace and what equipment do I need to have on-board?

You cannot fly your drone in controlled airspace without talking to and asking permission from

So no, you cannot fly in controlled airspace without pre-approved permission and NEVER in the approach path of arriving or departing aircraft. You can be prosecuted and your drone confiscated.

Equipment required:

It is best to have a phone and/or radio so you can hear aircraft making calls. At the very least, have cell phone handy so you can be contacted. If you have logged your flight on airshare, you can tell people how to contact you if they need to. This goes a long way towards being given permission to fly in areas you might not otherwise be given.

If you are flying in a shielded area you may be able to fly. Feel free to call us and ask what this means.

If you want to fly your drone in controlled airspace, call us to learn what you can and can’t do, and how to do it legally.

If you have been certified under a 102 certificate you can ask and be given permission in many cases to fly in otherwise banned areas for periods of time. Other aircraft will be notified by NOTAM (see airshare website) to divert around the area your drone is going to fly for that time period.

In future CAA are hoping to bring in laws where unmanned aircraft must carry a transponder in controlled areas so the control tower and other aircraft can see them, but this is often prohibitive for smaller drones that cannot carry much weight.

It is more important that you know what you can and can’t do, what permissions you need, and who to talk to if you are going to fly a drone around other people and in controlled airspace.

Aviation Training UAV courses are designed to deliver a complete curriculum of practical course material that covers every aspect operators need to operate their drone/UAV safety and responsibility. The purpose is not only to ensure safety in flight but also considerations regarding environmental and airspace obligations that impact flight operations and potential liability.

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