Flying near Manchester Airport

The company I work for is about 4.5 miles away from Manchester airport. A company that has done the alarms and CCTV for the building, has asked my boss if he could get his friend to take drone pictures of the building for a promational video. with being so close to the airport what permissions would the drone operator need to get to fly a drone about a couple of hundred feet. if that. It’s a 2 story building. also what certificate would the drone operator need to fly the drone.

At 4.5 miles away you may be just outside the exclusion zone, which extends 5km from the airport. Another dependency is the weight of the drone - if under 250g it is OK to fly around the building but any heavier may need CAA permission and a pilot with appropriate qualifications.

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I have just asked him what is the weight of the drone. He has texted back the drone is under 250g. what will he need in the way of qualifications. I am totally new to drone flying. I don’t own a drone or flown a drone. yet. but since i made my first enquires about drones to this site. I now keep bumping in to drone related issues.

The “friend” is going to need to check if they’re in the zone shown above. They’ll need insurance too, public liability as a minimum. As it’s a promo video you could argue there will be commercial gain, so an A2CofC certificate would also be likely.

I know he’s a mate, but the whole getting a friend to do it on the cheap thing is crippling any commercial flyers.

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I won’t disagree with you there. i have a friend from the filmmakers club I belong to who spent a £1000 on getting his commercial licence. + a couple of weekends away on extra fly courses, so he is well annoyed with the new regs. The reason i am asking these questions are. 1 I am looking out for the company I work for, I need to make sure all the right boxes have been ticked, because its been put in my hands to sort out it will come back on me. 2 I have an interest in becoming a dronest (sorry if its the wrong term) as i have an interest in making short films/stories.

The drone owner should know what they can & can’t do :roll_eyes: It has a camera so they need to register and the drone has to be labelled, Google drone code. They/you need to use to find out if there’s any restrictions in place. If not and it’s safe to fly, then as long as they follow the drone code they’re good to go.

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thought with the mini 1 and 2 you can do it for monetery gains as of 1st jan need to get a flyer and op ID though thats the basics :slight_smile: but other than that its 250g< so dont need insurance etc. i would aassume


That’s what I thought too?


You can use the Drone Assist app to find out what restrictions are in any area in the UK. This will tell you if you are in the restricted area for the airport. It will tell you any other restrictions including temporary restrictions. Well worth a download.



I’d be more inclined to use Drone Scene, rather than Drone Assist :slight_smile:


If you’re operating for commercial gain, insurance is a must. If you hit a building or person you’ll be liable for any claim. Even in the A1 category, flying over uninvolved people must be kept to a minimum.

There’s also the loss of face for the client should something go wrong when it emerges that the drone operator had no training, passed no course, had no insurance and was just a mate. You’re close to the airport so what will the pilot do in the (unlikely) event of a loss of control? - sod’s law says it’ll fly straight at the airport.

You are so close to a major airport that I’d want this properly planned. Does the law require you to have an A2 CofC? No. Does common sense suggest you’d want this done properly…? Your company doesn’t want to be front page news for the sake of saving a few quid.

I will never understand why people spend hundreds or thousands on a drone and simply refuse to spend £99 getting some training.

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If it’s under 250gm on take-off there are no rules saying they have to have insurance, etc, even for commercial gain.

That’s the rules but it would still be stupid for anyone to fly a drone outside the home without at least 3rd party liability cover, but it’s not the law.

And if it’s for commercial gain, your third party cover is invalid unless it specifically covers commercial activity.

My last piece on this. Article 241 of the ANO

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

I come back to my planning and training comment. The law doesn’t require you to pass any qualification to fly a mini 2 commercially. It does require you to follow article 241.

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It’s also not just a “must” because of the risks. In the CAA’s view it is a legal requirement for you to hold insurance if you are operating commercially, irrespective of size of drone. See CAP722 section 1.4 for the legal details.

Under The Civil Aviation (Insurance) Regulations 2005, it’s a criminal offence to fly any aircraft without the required insurance, unless you are exempt. The CAA’s view is you are only exempt from the insurance requirement if flying a model aircraft for “sport or recreational purposes”.


Out of interest, someone with no previous commercial flying experience can get the necessary commercial public liability insurance on a pay-as-you-go basis for up to 8 hours of flying time for a DJI Mini 2 for only £4.95 (from Flock). So there’s really very little excuse not to have it.


I used to use flock for my commercial work. Do they still adjust their pricing based on location?

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Dunno. You still drag your flight location around on a map but I’ve not checked if prices changed or not.

I would like to thank you all for all the information you have given me. I have learnt so much.

I have worked for myself on and off for many years, so I know the pit falls of working for domestic and commercial clients. For anyone who is thinking of offering their services for money then please take note that there is a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through. Apart from passing the drone tests.
When I was working on the sites of the commercial clients. I had to supply a full risk assessment report. A copy of my insurance and or any accreditation of competence or membership of an approved body. Let me tell you, when I first started, it was an absolute pain in the neck having to do the paperwork but after a few times it be came a copy and paste exercise but now here the big, BUT. it got me a lot of business from the bigger companies and I could charge a lot more money.

Unfortunately for the done pilot. He will have to supply all the requirements above and since we are literally just inside the red zone of the airport, he will need to get permission as well and stick that in the paper work.


Stick a camera on a pole. No joke, this is a thing.

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