Article 16 questions

Myself and a friend have had a long going debate. I’m hoping you can help.

Article 16 seems to suggest you can fly any craft upto 7.5kg,so for this example we will use the mavic 2 pro, with a bubble seperatetion of 30m,does that essentially mean that you can fly in a congested area provided you are 30m above whatever your flying over? Do essentially you almost get the same freedom as a sub 249g.

I won’t give my thoughts currently as I want the debate to grow organically.

1 Like

Try our very own Good 2 Go for the answer and share your result here

1 Like

That says I can’t fly under 50m away yet the article 16 graphic says I can fly 30m away?

1 Like

In the green box above, the important words are “recreational area”.

1 Like

For your chosen size of drone It states you can fly over uninvolved people at a height of 30m in a RECREATIONAL area …….however you have mentioned “ a congested area “ by that are you asking if you can overfly crowds ? ……it does not indicate how many people you can overfly but I certainly wouldn’t overfly a large group of people with my mavic air 2 ……and regardless of the eased restrictions it is still the responsibility of the pilot to assess if a flight is safe ……I would say a congested area is not ……that would be my interpretation of the guidelines


I fly under article 16, although it gives you that bit of freedom as per the notes, if I am flying in a park & there’s people about, regardless to the metre rule or separation distance & this is just me, where ever possible I stay as far away from people as possible, again that’s just me being precautious, even if I see one person walking into the path of the drone, I’ll move the drone away where possible & hover till they’ve gone or even land, again that’s just me, as I don’t see no point in flying over a few people just because I can.

Edit, forgot to add, doing a risk assessment is just common sense really, hazards & what if’s etc, I have a dozen forms printed out & keep them in my drone bag to fill in as & when needed.

Edit again sorry, I also keep the documents bookmarked on my phone, ease of access just in case there’s anything I’m not sure of, or need to check as & when or on the spot.


Yup totally get that it’s more a case of what is allowed not what we should do if that makes sense?

Do you use the forms from fpvuk?

The risk assessment yes, you can download them & print them off .

1 Like

I know the CAA uses ambiguous wording majority of the time, but it’s hard to answer the question without knowing your definition of congested?

Straight from FPVUK Article 16.

Separation Distances for
model aircraft

  1. A model aircraft that is not a free flight model aircraft, and with a MTOM
    above 250g and not more than 7.5Kg shall not be flown:
    a) Within a horizontal distance of 30m of ‘assemblies of people’;
    b) Within 30m of any ‘uninvolved person’. This distance may be reduced to
    15m for take-off and landing if required for practical operations and
    there are locally applied mitigations to protect uninvolved persons,
    following a local risk assessment.
  2. A model aircraft with a MTOM greater than 7.5Kg, and less than 25kg shall
    not be flown:
    a) Within a horizontal distance of 50m of ‘assemblies of people’. This
    distance may be reduced to 30m for take-off and landing if required for
    practical operations and there are locally applied mitigations to protect
    uninvolved persons, following a local risk assessment.
    b) Within 30m of any ‘uninvolved person’.

If you do a RA, and the risk is high then don’t fly, simple!

1 Like

I’ve been flying under article 16 for a few years now. Article 16 is for recreation areas only so beach, park or green place used primarily for recreation so all other area are of limits under article 16. It’s good for what it is and you can fly up to 25kg drones but the rules change at 7.5kg to 30m where the over 7.5kg drones have a 50m bubble. Happy to answer article 16 questions.
I’m a mentor and examiner for fpv UK model fly club. So should be able to help

I helped with the initial drafts of the infographics for FPV UK. You have cut of the built-up area on the left. I have attached an extract from the FPV UK Handbook which clarifies that under Article 16 you cannot fly in a built-up area - so no you cannot fly over a congested area. The only exception is within the confines of a recreational area in a built-up area.

1 Like

Yes bang 0n it very clear that it’s for recreational use and recreational areas only…:+1: hello how interesting you obviously know Simon Dale. I’m with fpv UK it’s interesting to hear you helped with the infographic especially as I’ve been posting them for about 2 years now maybe a bit less. I’m a mentor and examiner so I do speak to Simon Dale on occasion if I have any questions. Are you a member of FPV UK​:+1:

This is perfect and what ice been trying to say to my friend, unfortunately I’ve been banging my head, so thank you

1 Like

Hi @monkeyass0374 Paul.

Good to see your name. Thanks for being helpful, as always.

I just wanted to clarify that Article 16 can be used in any suitable area. (No risk assessment required).

AND also it can be used in a built-up area used only for recreational purposes (eg a public park) - if this is supported by a risk assessment.

3.7 from the latest A16 OA defines the location(s) of operation:

The key part is: 'Any other suitable area, which is not a ‘built-up area’.

The latest FPV UK Article 16 Operational Authorisation will always be available at

And the latest infographic will always be available at

There is also this video explaining the infographic:

1 Like

Very good point.

‘Congested area’ was a term the CAA used to use in the unmanned aircraft regulations. (And still do for manned aviation I suspect).

In the current unmanned aircraft regulations, that term has been replaced with ‘built-up area’.

This is defined in 7.1 of the FPV UK Article 16 Operational Authorisation ( as follows:

Built-Up Area: An area substantially used for industrial, recreational, commercial or residential purposes.

Yes I know this the risk assessment are needed for the 15m take off and landing and to fly in a park in a built up area. I’m not sure what I said they was implying that to use article 16 that a risk assessment is needed because I was not. I already know it’s not need in a lot of case’s but it is important to remember and learn all this or article 16 can’t be used and read the hand book. What made you say that. My English maybe playing up here more that my knowledge because I know article 16 inside out. If that is Simon Dale there than it me Paul Robertson. You know I already know all this.:+1:

Hello sorry to sound rude but who are you. It’s interesting to here that your behind the article 16 infographic I have been sharing for almost if not over 2 years now. I guess you know Simon Dale then. I only know him through the fpv UK and airprox reality check but obviously a fan of his work and what he has achieved. Can I ask how you got involved in the infographic. Is there a good story there? I find it fascinating that after all this time of sharing the doc that I should bump into the creator or part creator of a doc after all this time. Mad.:+1:

I’ve always defined it at everywhere that is not recreational. Much simpler I thought but maybe not.:+1: