Class D airspace?

Hello I am new here. James is my name

I have been trying to work out exactly what class D means for drone operators. Last year I did not have to worry to much as the restrictions was for over 7kg drones the CAA have said To me I need ATC permission to fly in class D airspace this year. Richmond park flying field and now I’ve discovered Morden flying field are both in Class D. Someone on Facebook told me that class D is not applicable to drones unless it’s in a FRZ. So am I right in assuming Morden flying field and Richmond park flying field are both ok to fly without permission?

Yes mate, you are :+1:t2:

And welcome to Grey Arrows :smiley:

Thank you for your quick reply and warm welcome . So Class D is meaningless here just an indication that there may be increased air traffic. I guess it dose not mean for surface here.

Hi @Jel1983 and welcome to GADC.

As you mentioned, when it comes to airspace restrictions, Class D is no longer relevant for flying drones under 20kg. Currently, the only main areas you need to be concerned about, in the main, are Flight Restriction Zones (FRZs) which only apply to airports / aerodromes. There are a few others specific areas but the best way to make sure is to down load the Drone Assist App from NATS which makes it really clear, showing any current restrictions in the area you want to fly.

Of course there are other restrictions, when landowners do not allow take off and landing, but that is a whole different ballgame and the source of many a discussion in threads at GADC!

Thanks for your reply

Drone assist dose say that Richmond Park and Morden park are in class D. It does not say it’s prohibited but it says it may be prohibited but then the disclaimer when ever I access the app says the app is not a legal binding do I want to continue.

I did email the CAA back in
May and they said I need ATC permission so I am getting different answers.

Answer me this if flying was restricted am I right in thinking that Dji won’t even let my drone take off.

So in a nutshell if I am outside a FRZ or Aerodrome zone and not near a prison or power plant and have permission from the landowner to take off that’s ok

Just to cover your points.

Yes, the app does have a disclaimer because local bye laws might prevent take off and landing. That’s down to the landowner. I think Richmond park has a dedicated area for model aircraft / drones, but that may have changed.

When it comes to airspace, NATS are pretty much the experts.

When I checked out Richmond park (photo below) it is definitely not in an FRZ, but there is a warning area as there is a helicopter route. This is an advisory, see second photo with info.

The DJI geofencing will stop you flying in a FRZ, as its possible to get permission to fly in one. However, it should stop you flying over the actual airport / runway perimeter.

Hope this helps

Thank you. Richmond park dose a have a flying field. I used it a lot last year but have been to scared because of the new law. Last year I know 100% that the law said under 7kg no ATC permission.

Just out of interest what dose ATC permission mean. My course says it will require getting on a radio and knowing aviation language.

Normally as simple as picking up the phone and calling them. They are generally pretty happy to engage with you. Tell them what you’re flying, when, where and max altitude and that way they can notify any aircraft that they’re managing.

JThanks. I don’t know why but I am nervous to ring Heathrow ATC as I don’t want to disturb them from their duty. This may seem like a really dumb question and I sincerely apologise but people on the phone are not bringing planes in or sending them out.

This is their duty :slight_smile:

You’re quite right, they’re not. Which is just as well, as they’re supposed to be manning the phones :smiley:

The people bringing the planes in don’t stop to answer phone calls from the public :blush:

Hi James welcome to the madhouse …

I am probably the most stupid person on this site but…I am confused by the NATS DroneAssist app. I have mine (on Android) set to the defaults. Can I show the club experts three screens and ask if I can fly in them? And how I know that’s permitted??

The first one has a prison in it, so probably not. Again, if you had a specific reason to fly there a quick call to the prison could sort you out.

The other is trickier. You’re in an ATZ so you could give them a call, say hi and let them know what you’re doing out of courtesy. If you’re local it’s a good way to build a relationship. Your bigger worry is staying away from the military facility on top of the hill. Class D is generally open to us, you just need to give a heads up in some areas.

I should stress though, you don’t have to do this at all as long as your drone is under 7kg. The reason I suggest it is that it demonstrates being a responsible user. Should a member of the public call up and complain under the belief you shouldn’t be there and the response from the authorities is words to the effect of, “Bruce? Yes we know he’s there he’s known to us” it stops any fuss dead.

Don’t feel you have to do it, I know ringing a control tower seems intimidating but they really would love to hear from you.


My local Aerodrome (Chichester - Goodwood) say on their website test they will only do it 24 hours in advance and you have to use their online form. It is good that they have an online process to save having to make a call.

Lee, the 7kg weight limit ceased to exist with the requirements of Class D airspace on UAV pilots when they introduced FRZs as part of CAP1763. It now a max of 20kg and the only requirement to seek ATC permission to fly is within in a FRZ.

Can you please give me the link to this CAP1763 that’s what I am trying to get hold of my NQE and they are ignoring me.

Should be a direct download from the CAA Website

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You should really consider changing provider if they won’t even point you at the CAA website. I know that sounds drastic but when it comes to the exam and ops manual it may help