I scored 3 out of 3 with my permissions which I needed for the last GADC photo comp. I wanted to fly within the Goodwood (Chichester) FRZ and filled in the form on the airfield website. Nothing heard so I rang, the Air Traffic manager was on leave but he called from home, apologised and approved my flight/
It was a lake potentially within the aerodrome circuit (and definitely within the FRZ). I was just asked to phone when on-site and when I had finished and, while I was flying they would shoo the nasty aircraft away.
I wanted a shot of Amesbury which lies within the Boscombe Down MATZ and within the airfield restrictions. Contacted via the email on the NoD website and again had to ring to chase up the query. It was planned as a weekend flight and the RAF tend to close down from noon Friday to mid-morning Monday but the civilian aircraft may still have been active. Again a courtesy call to announce my arrival and departure was requested.
Third was to take a shot of a miniature steam train exciting a tunnel close yo Southampton (Eastleigh) Airport. This is one of the CAA operated airports that is contacted via their site, along with Heathrow, Gatwick and Edinburgh amongst about 20 others. Permission granted by email but I cancelled prior to the selected day as I had scored the video I needed elsewhere.
All were summer 2020 so Covid restrictions weren’t too fierce. I emailed each site with at least 14 days notice. I was upfront with them - non-commercial flight to take photo/video for a competition.
I wasn’t concerned about insurance as it is cheaper to replace my aircraft rather than pay a yearly premium and risk having to pay an excess plus car and house insurances go up when I claim.
I do however have a £5 million public liability insurance in place via the excellent FPVUK scheme (£20 per year) and this was mentioned in each of my emails
So I have had good results from an individual airfield, the military and the CAA when asking if I can play in the airspace that they own. All seemed happy to help even though neither I nor they were making any money from the exercise and I, with my little Mavic Air, was potentially inconveniencing serious aviators.
And with less air traffic to worry about - go for it!