Flying over Thames near QE2 bridge

I’m in the planning stages of a drone flight using the M2P over the Thames near the QE2 bridge. My resources (Dronescene and Drone Assist) suggest it will be fine.

However, this site suggests seeking permissions (4 weeks notice etc).

What do you think?

This is the rough area I’ll be flying:-

I assume this is a hobbyist flight? If so, you don’t need to pay anyone anything. Much less request permission from them four weeks in advance.

The link you have provided is for commercial filming.

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This will be for commercial flying

Well, at least that’s the plan. But if I need to give 4 weeks notice, that’s not going to work.

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In which case you’d better contact them directly, sooner rather than later :slight_smile:

I think you have the option of:

  1. Going along with what they ask, in which case they will facilitate what you need, and you can be confident the river authority is happy with what you are doing.
  2. Ask them under what regulations or byelaws they require a license.

It’s very rare that a commercial entity tries option 2, but I am genuinely curious as to what their legal basis is for demanding a license (noting they demand it even for non-commercial filming).

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It’s downright annoying all this. Such a grey area.

Not sure if I want to ‘poke the dragon’ with option 2.

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Where are you planning to TOAL from?

I like the way they prefer you to use a manned helicopter instead of a lightweight drone for any commercial filming.
Let me see, crash involving jet helicopter with two or three crew onboard versus <25kg drone with nobody around!

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Not entirely sure yet. Possibly a development site or the path on the south side of the river.

The PLA are known to be difficult. Good luck.

Dare I add my 2 pennies worth - I checked the Altitude Angel Drone Safety Map and it looks like you’d be fine so long as you’ve landowner permission to take off and land etc. That said, best practice and so on, it might be an idea to inform the Met Police Film Unit (very nice, helpful etc and unbureaucratic) and check the NOTAMs for the area as you’ll be flying near an oil depot (whom you could also drop a line to). That way, if someone sees your drone and calls the old bill they won’t react!
In case all that sounds a hassle - I found it an enjoyable part of flight planning chatting to these people. Good luck and have an enjoyable flight!


And there’s more:-) My limited experience with the PLA was great: They offered one of their boats as a TOAL site (for a small fee). They were pretty uncomplicated and their website states they only need 3 working days notice (not the 4 weeks mentioned above).

All the best! M

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