IMPORTANT NOTICE, PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASE!
For aircraft of 20 kg or less, these are referred to as a 'small unmanned aircraft', for which the requirements are a little less stringent and are covered within Articles 166 and 167.
in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained;
within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or
at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) above and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.
over or within 150 metres of any congested area;
over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;
within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or
subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.
In essence therefore, provided the aircraft has a mass of 20 kg or less, the current regulations state:
Note: there is currently no 'protected' frequency band allocated for the control link between 'remote pilot' and aircraft. Some control frequencies are also 'shared' with other uses (such as Bluetooth and WiFi, or a band for research and development systems). The small UAS manufacturers should be well aware of this, however it would be worthwhile checking with them to ensure that there are no other related precautions which need to be taken with their specific machine. You will need to ensure that any other equipment you routinely need to use does not adversely affect the flight of the aircraft.
Careful note should be taken that the collection of images of identifiable individuals, even inadvertently, when using surveillance cameras mounted on a small unmanned surveillance aircraft, will be subject to the Data Protection Act. As this Act contains requirements concerning the collection, storage and use of such images, Small Unmanned Aircraft operators should ensure that they are complying with any such applicable requirements or exemptions.
Further information about the Data Protection Act and the circumstances in which it applies can be obtained from the Information Commissioner’s Office and website: www.ico.org.uk
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