Flight Restriction Zones

I have just completed my PfCO theory course which included a large segment on the new Flight Restriction Zones rules that come into effect from 13th March 2019.

I though I would share a condensed version of this in case others are not sure or aware of the detail of new rules. The full details of the amendments can be found in CAP1763:

One benefit included in this ANO update is that the existing restriction on flying unmanned aircraft over 7kg below 400ft in controlled airspace has now been removed, as the new restrictions apply to all unmanned aircraft up to 20Kg and maintain the 400ft limit for all unmanned aircraft. This means, for us multi rota pilots, we no longer need to consider airspace class restrictions - we only need to be aware of FRZ’s. In a way this does simplify the situation regarding airports.

Flight Restriction Zones
Flight Restriction Zones are placed around protected airdromes and are a combination of the existing Air Traffic Zone (ATZ) and the new Runway Protection Zones.

The Flight Restriction Zone is active at all times and applies to all small unmanned aircraft of any size or weight including ‘very small toys’ .

Every airfield’s restriction will be different, but the diagram below gives a generic example of what the restricted zones will look like. Small airdromes may have larger FRZs because they had have more ‘runways’ so the FRZ around mu small local general aviation airdrome has a larger FRZ than Gatwick.

If you wish to fly a small unmanned aircraft within these flight restriction zones, then permission will have to be obtained from air traffic control at the aerodrome. If the ATC is not manned then the permission needs to be obtained from the

Permission to enter a Flight Restriction Zones
If there is an Air Traffic Control (ATC) unit available i.e. there is someone in the control tower, the ATC can give you permission to fly in the FRZ or, of course, refuse. Strangely enough, it is also possible for the the ATC can also give you permission to fly above 400ft to the limit of the airspace they control (2000ft) and not refer you back to the CAA. Important to recognise that the rules regarding VLOS still apply!

If there is no one to contact at the airport ATC (either because out of operation hours or doesn’t have an ATC then the Aerodrome operator can give permission. This does not include flying above 400 ft.

Full contact details of protected airdromes at available at the UK AIP:


And the military airports at the UK Mil AIP:


Clearly this will all be very new the ATCs so it will be unclear how they react to these requests - and may differ from airport to airport.

A useful interactive map of the UK has been created by NATS showing the protected aerodromes with the flight restriction zones:

I will do a separate piece on how you can have these maps available on your smart devices.

I hope that this is of help and please not that I am not saying what is right or wrong with the new system - just saying how it is. I am sure that the issue of small toys will be subject to a lot of debate going forward, especially from model clubs as this does affect all SUA’s and not just multi rota’s.


Gatwick and Redhill FRZ

Chichester (Goodwood) FRZ

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Thanks Brian
useful to know but we did cover this using good old flight maps so other than distance change all the same
not that I plan to fly anywhere near an airport ever (unless the moneys right) and obviously with ATC permission

@sparkman999 Jeff, I realise not massive news change if you have done the course, just thought useful to bring together. I do have one aerodrome where I will be asking And will be interesting to see the response?!

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I did a job over in Liverpool and first thought using nats was I couldn’t do it (this was last year mind you) checked AirMap saying I could
The issue was the overlap in red the new update make the airfield/airports a lot clearer
My concern is there is a lot of apps and info out there and they conflict one another if it’s like that for us the newbies will be even more worried

As a newbie I am happy with the NATs guidance, and the steer to that site on joing this group was very welcome. Alas I was nearly caught out by a forestry commission ruling that was shown on another chart/map.

For me the info from the PfCO course is of great interest as it helps me better understand the rules. Thankfully I was not fully aware of the old rules, and am content to worry about FRVs only with my MA.

that’s what I mean there are different apps and each has different info and can be confusing to a new flyer
let alone an old one :wink:
the pfco just gives you a better grounding and a more logical approach have you checked this and have you done that which comes more to the fore when you have been flying for a while

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Hi everyone
I am new and flying a dji mini 2 and due to the location i live Warton, Preston, were i have BAE systems military aircraft factory and aerodrome. Has anyone had any dealings with ATC from here?

Hi Russell, you could tag the @group-northwest to see if anyone has :wink:

There is a web portal you can use to request permission to fly. They respond pretty quickly and are quite accommodating.

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Thanks for this

Thanks for the reply and i am really new to all this, especially social media and no idea how to tag people :thinking:

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Hi Russ, Warton ATC are really easy to deal with, just give them a ring 01772 852374, let them know dates and times, they will accommodate wherever possible. The runway does not operate at weekends so it is not normally a problet to get permissions for a saturday/sundsay flight.

Thanks for that number it will come in useful. Only problem with this is my job, i work weekends :rofl:

@Russ2116 :point_up::point_up:this + there isn’t a huge amount flies out of Warton so even weekdays are normally quite easy for permission.

Thanks thats good news