Bylaws - is the DJI Mini exempt?

Hi, went to one of the suggested places to fly

( Where can I fly my drone in the UK? - Chertsey Meads - Rivers and Canals in South East )

and found this on the notice board in the bylaws section:

Is Mini exempt from the provisions of the air navigation order ?


In a word, no. All drones are subject to the ANO. Whether the bylaw has any merit is a different question…


No. The ANO applies to all aircraft. The mini and other sub 250g drones have their own separation distances, and the lack of requirement of a fliers ID.

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Thanks, thought so.

No flying in Chertsey then, just like many other places - keep finding hidden restrictions everywhere.
The 3 apps I use (Drone assist, UAV forecast and Drone Scene app) aren’t of much help either- usually get different restrictions shown for the same location.
Looks like Mini2 isn’t the “fly anywhere as long as it’s 5 miles away from the airport and no crowds ” camera after all…

Just avoid taking off on their land, nothing stopping you flying over.



You’ll always be subject to the ANO, no getting around that. It’s part of the law that dictates the crowds and airports thing. However what the bylaw says is:

“No person shall in the ground release any power driven model aircraft for flight or control the flight of such aircraft”
“No person shall cause and power driven model aircraft to take off or land in the ground”

So you can’t stand on their land whilst flying or take off/land from it. You can however fly over it if you’re standing outside.


Follow what this guy does : Simon Hawkins - Freedom of Information requests - WhatDoTheyKnow

seems most coucils say they have bye laws but dont seem to have them…


I think that notice is a stock document that many councils display somewhere in their parks and public spaces, my theory is that it has more to do with accountability in case of an insurance claim.
If you fly your drone from their land and hit someone/thing whilst landing this notice in effect removes any responsibility from the council for damage/injury claims.

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You can check which bylaws are in place for any given area by visiting the local council website. They have to make them publicly available by law and each place/area should have its own specific bylaw covering that area only as all are submitted on merit and have to pass certain criterion before being granted. A council cannot just put a blanket bylaw in place covering all their open public spaces.

My guess is that its a stock document that’s been produced or copied from elsewhere to cover all manner of places without actually going before the panel that scrutinises the applications. As I’ve mentioned before. Use your common sense, abide by the drone code and CAA regulations regarding crowds, animals, nuisance, noise, privacy etc etc and if any council official should approach you just kindly ask them for their ID and ask them to back away so you can land, pack away the drone and leave. They have absolutely no power to ask you for details or to detain you and the chances of the police turning up before you’ve left are pretty slim to non existent.

Just because a sign says its so doesn’t always mean it is.


“So you can’t stand on their land whilst flying or take off/land from it. You can however fly over it if you’re standing outside.”

Am I correct to assume “their land” is council owned land and in theory I could take off / land from a supermarket / pub / any other private property or carpark ? Any tips and tricks, what do you usually do?

Sorry for all the questions, I did look around but there’s so much conflicting info.

Good advice, thanks.

Unless there is a specific bylaw in place you can TOAL from any publicly owned land so long as you don’t break any of the Drone Code rules.

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A park I regularly fly from displays this same notice on one of the entrances(out of 5 entrances), I have never been approached regarding not being able to fly, I have been approached by staff(gardeners, wardens, rubbish pickers) interested in what the view is like from 300ft.


Yes to the council owning the land. In essence, any landowner can stop you taking off or landing on their property. So for the pub you’d need to get permission. Offer them some free pics and you will probably be ok. I try and find spots away from people. I fly a bigger drone so the “urban” flying is harder for me.

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What I would say though is if you’re not aware of it, Article 241 of the ANO is a big factor for you:

A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property

If you’re using a supermarket or pub car park you’ll need to be certain it’s safe to do so. Make sure you keep VLOS at all times and be wary of being disturbed; especially in a pub car park.


Interesting, North Yorkshire Council seem to have no byelaws for drones BUT Harrogate Borough Council which is under North Yorkshire Council states that we can not take-off, land or fly over any of their land without permission from them and the caa… and they follow the ano 2016. The reason is that it effects the environment in some way??

As far as I’m aware there is nothing saying we can’t fly over the land if we take off from private property with permission from the owner. Am I correct?

They CAN stop you taking off/landing from/on their land, they cannot stop you overflying their land so long as you are flying responsibly(not chasing animal/children) and not causing a nuisance(a Mini 2 at 60m can’t be heard from the ground). You have permission from the CAA as long as you and your drone are legal(registration requirements met/insurance etc.) and you are not flying in restricted air space. A Mini 2 is exempt from some of the restrictions in ANO 16 as long as it is under 250g…

Essentially yes but leave the private land bit out . I believe that unless there is a specific byelaw in place for that specific location then you are free to take off and land from any public space whether that be a roundabout in a busy town centre or a large open park on the outskirts of town. Byelaws are drawn up through consultation, risk assessments, potential environmental impact assessments and then have to be approved by committee. A council cannot put a blanket byelaw in place to cover a multitude of areas at different locations. This is why that guy has made so many FOI requests to various local councils to find out exactly where they’ve been granted. I’d also add that any byelaw in place has to be physically on show to the public at the area it pertains to, usually at all entrances and exits, gates, notice boards etc. When you get to a site do a recce of the area and if there isn’t one on show chances are there isn’t one.

If there is no byelaw then the council cannot stop you taking off and flying over theirs or anyone else’s land. That’s what the CAA do.

But as others have said. Use common sense and abide by all the known Drone Code rules and regulations and your good to go.

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Thanks. That’s as I thought too. I’ve been flying drones since 2016 and I know the legal regs we have to abideby. But Harrogate Council are a pain in the rear. They told me I had to move my motorhome by leaving a note on it from the Harrogate Strays act. Even though I was parked legally and amongst other vehicles. We have parked there for years as working in the town but they chose to tell me to leave the area. When challenged they didn’t even reply to any of my emails sent to them. So I think they just try to scare folk. I expect they would do the same with flying drones.
If you look on Google maps and see the size of the STRAY it’s acres of open grass land. They say its illegal to even ride a cycle on there… Its a very picky town and most on the council have their heads up there own -----.

I would however like to know how it effects the environment as they say.


This should be stencilled on every drone. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.