Flying at Alderley Edge, near Manchester

Just bought a DJI Mavic Pro 3 for real estate photography. I have a couple of questions about airspace.

  1. I want to fly my drone in Alderley Edge, near Manchester. Can you see any restrictions flying in this area?
  2. Alderly Edge is located just outside the restricted zone for manchester airport, however, the DJI overlay indicates that it’s in class D airspace, is this an issue as I believe it extends from the ground up, and not from a designated altitude?
  3. What lateral distance should you keep from a prison? HMS Styal is located in the red zone of Manchester, not sure how far away I should keep.
    Many Thanks.

Hi @lee329 and welcome to Grey Arrows :wave:t2:

@Sparkyws and @kvetner are our resident ‘Manchester experts’, I’m sure they’ll be along soon to offer more local advice

Have you seen our members map? (Click the burger-menu in the top right) You may find some pilots living near you. Feel free to add yourself to the members map too :+1:t2:

We’re a well established club with many knowledgeable members so it’s very likely that any issues you come across will have been discussed here before. Our discussion forum has very powerful search features which should help you find what you need but if you get stuck you can post a new question in the #questions-and-answers category.

Looking for recommendations of places to fly? Check out our interactive map on Drone Scene - be sure to log in to gain access to the full suite of features and map layers:

And please feel free to add locations of your own too.

Please also take a moment to look at the Membership Levels section on our FAQ as we’re quite different to other clubs and you’ll be eligible for some rather exclusive club discounts as your membership level increases :blush:

Welcome once again!

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Hi Lee welcome to GADC

Alderly Edge if fine to fly in, it’s outside Manchesters FRZ

Class D airspace doesn’t affect drone operation

You will get a warning in the fly app, I do as well in Altrincham :scream: just ignore it as it’s not relevant

And Style Prison is inside the FRZ, you won’t be able to go anywhere near it without permission and a unlock from DJI

Just a note, if the prison wasn’t in the FRZ of Manchester airport you would be able to fly up to but not with it’s FRZ

You are legally allowed up to a FRZ without any authorization


One caveat, the National Trust woodlands are problematic, they have wardens on site, and the NT don’t allow drone flying on their land - they try and tell you that you cannot even overfly, but that is incorrect. If you want to fly over the woods, then you will need to Take Off and Land (TOAL) away from their property… Good luck, looking forwards to seeing your images and footage, and welcome to the forum…


Thanks for the response guys. Last thing I want is to get into trouble with the CAA. For some reason I thought you could not fly within 5km for a prison. Is it possible to fly in restricted zones with permission, not prisons, CTZ and other restricted airspace?



Yes - it is possible to fly anywhere as long as you have the correct permissions.

Whoever looks after that area can give you written permission, which you then upload to DJI to get the drone unlocked.

Many of us have done it at various locations. Can’t speak however for Manchester Airport. That might be somewhat harder than a rural location.

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Alderley edge is a bit of a "millionaires row’ kind of area so they expect to be able to dictate the terms. Overflight of any built structures as waypoints on a longer flight path is completely within the law as long as your altitude is 80 feet or higher than the tallest point of any building you fly over. Check for a wealth of NATS based visual data to confirm the presence, or lack thereof of flight restrictions

Source ?


Many thanks for all the information. I will be sure to post a few pictures :+1:




Looking forward to the pictures.

I’m not convinced there’s any restriction on flying a drone over Styal Prison. The various Restriction of Flying (Prisons) Regulations seem to only restrict helicopters.

If anyone knows otherwise and can point to an actual regulation, I’m interested.



If there’s a restriction then no but I can’t find any specific reference either. This site claims there is but I’ve followed some, not all, of their links and none have taken me to a definitive source.,as%20the%20prison%20authorities%20themselves.

Can you link the source