Has anyone been charged to fly somewhere?

As anyone here been charged to fly anywhere, I have only had my M/Air for a few months, I went up to Gwrych Castle in Abergele N/Wales a place I had not been to since I was 22 years old now almost 61 years old. Well at the paypoint I asked if I could fly here & she said yes it was £5, I said you don’t own the airspace over the area how come the charge, she told me it was just incase I crashed my drone & it fell on somebody. I thought if it did drop on a person £5 would not cover any cost but they never said if the charge covered insurance for my flight, it was just a charged they applied to drone flying over the castle & grounds. I did pay the charge due to knowing the money will go toward the repairs the castle is having done, it is not a true castle just a home built to look like a castle. It was ripped apart by some people years back, they stripped it clean of anything they could get cash for, a shame it was a great place for a day out with young ones


Best way to look at it is that it’s a charge to take-off/land.

With so many places telling us to eff-off entirely, it’s probably a better scenario.
The kind of thing worth knowing in advance, so that maximum use can be had from the fee … and if you did fly then it would be good to have some pics/vid added to a location marker in DroneScene where this kind of info can be added for others to see.

And, in respect of your first sentence … there have been other instances. The train viaduct in Scotland that became famous from Harry Potter films is one such.

(Also tweaked the title to gain better feedback.)



I paid them a tenner for permission to fly on their land.

I didn’t mind for a few reasons.

First being it was a 6hr round trip and I knew in advance I was good to fly.

Second was that I didn’t feel under any pressure to get in and out quickly as you do in a lot of other spots. I spent a few hours there and burned through 3 batteries. Totally relaxed with the knowledge I wouldn’t be asked to move.

Third was it’s such an iconic location with a lot of visitors. A lot of places would simply have a blanket ban so his seemed pretty reasonable.

I wouldn’t pay to just fly in any old field but if it’s a good location and difficult to fly without taking off on the owners land I feel it’s worth it.


You cannot surely be proper Scottish ;o)


I hope you got a receipt stating their exact terms and conditions, otherwise it’s just extortion and should be reported. If they get away with it, this opens the floodgates to unregulated charging to fly, just watch everyone get on the band wagon.
If it’s a legitimate charge, with terms and conditions then fair enough, like paying to park your car in a car park, but I suspect this is just someone making a few extra bucks.


No receipt or even a entry ticket, I know the castle, it once was a good place ( not a true castle ), you could walk in all rooms, all made to look medieval, marble staircases, dungeons it was all there once, the money they make is meant to be bringing the place back to how it once was so I did not mind paying it I was just surprised about the charge


No way man…

If I owned some private land I’d sure be charging people to take off and land from it :+1:t2:

(Discount for GADC members, naturally)


Without terms and conditions being printed or signposted, its not a proper charge. Whether you own the land or not. If I was being charged like this, I’d demand to see the terms and conditions of charge. If they didn’t like it, I’d tell them that the inland revenue might be interested in their little fiddle.
As I say, it opens the floodgates for unscrupulous landowners to start charging whatever they like

I can’t tell if this is a windup or not now :slight_smile:

If you demanded to see terms and conditions I’d demand you fly elsewhere :rofl:

It’s just a charge for taking off and landing from private land mate, you either pay the fee and enjoy the flight, or you don’t :man_shrugging:

I think you may be reading far too much in to this one.


We all know you have to bung the gillie a few quid if you want a successful shoot :wink:


I agree, with you, it’d be a case of either fly or not. But as the word spreads around among the landowners (and I’ve seen the greed at first hand when they smell money) that there’s easy tax free money to be made, then they will all start charging for whatever and whenever they want because its unregulated. I was merely levelling the playing field by saying that if they start charging, then they will have to obey the rules just as we do when we are flying. If the charge is a charitable donation then I’d happily give them a fee and my postcode and address so they can claim the tax back as well.
If I’m paying for a service or access, I’d want to know its not going into someone’s back pocket. Hence asking to see the terms and conditions.

Avoid Amazon or Starbucks then :wink:


It is an interesting scenario with pros and cons.
Personally if I went somewhere like this too fly and they were willing to let me do it for a fiver then I would pay just for peace of mind. I personally would have been even happier if they said “yes its a fiver but you must be registered (if required) and have some form of insurance”.
Gives them a little more confidence that you take the hobby seriously and some peace of mind if there was any incident.
I pay to fish my local ponds that the owners maintain so why not contribute a little towards the up keep of the Castle etc in return for the privilege of them letting us take off film or photograph and land on their property.


Surely it’s just taken as a donation to maintain the old building. Jeez, I don’t know what there is to get so wound up about.

Slightly related, you often find with places like this if you offer them copies of the images to use themselves then they’re more than happy to accommodate you and even invite you back. It’s just give and take. I’ve been able to get very close to our village church by helping them with a roof survey and do some pics to help with fundraising.


Good point. Lol.


might be worth going along with some raffle tickets to some venues and charge people to fly lol

there was a fella at the top of box hill Dorking who used to charge people to park and give them a ticket, he did it for years till someone found out that it was national trust and free parking!
don’t think they ever caught him he must of made a fortune over the years :grin:
the funny thing was he was a miserable old git

dunno how true it is but I do remember the bloke with a milkman’s money pouch and a book of raffle tickets


Mental note… if @milkmanchris is charging people for parking at the next NE meet up, demand some answers…


I think it has been mentioned above but I too wouldn’t mind paying a small Fee if the views are worth it. As many times I have wanted to photograph an area and either can’t find anywhere to take off and land or when I do I feel like I am in the wrong.

Hi Brian,

I tend to agree with you and I think PingSpike was being a little dismissive. It’s an interesting topic that has wider implications and it would be good to get further clarification from any legal experts on this.

If a visitor attraction for example, who’s main business is to make money from attracting visitors to their land / stately home (or viaduct) etc, wishes to levy a flying charge, then I agree that this would be tantamount to a commercial contract. Presumably they would need to ensure that their insurance covers such activities and liability would also be transferred to them unless they posted explicit exclusions (the likes of which you see in carparks or monkey enclosures!). Other visitors should be made aware of the activity and appropriate exclusions areas established. Risk assessments would need to be adjusted and so on. Even out of hours, it would undoubtedly have some bearing on their insurance.

Whether a charitable donation makes any difference to this, I’m not sure. And of course, if we’re talking about purely private land that isn’t a commercial visitor attraction, then that’s altogether different.

I love these kind of topics - the ones that seem simple at first until you start to delve a bit deeper, and I enjoyed your contribution. If anyone here does have a legal background in this field, I’d love to hear their take. Hope we can also discourage further ridicule.

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Agreed, as long as the person or company levying the charge has a right to do so and it doesn’t create other implications.