Large companies hostile to drones operating above their property?

Hi there

Not sure this is the most appropriate category, so please move it if necessary.

I’m fairly new to flying drones, but have sorted the necessary CAA paperwork and believe that I understand the legislation around flying my sub-250g drone (Mini 3 Pro) in the UK.

I’m working on a project documenting ex-collieries, which have quite often been occupied by industrial estates and large distribution centres operated by the obvious names.

Due to a negative experience I had overflying a manufacturing company’s factory a couple weeks ago, I’m quite nervous about working around these distribution centres due to the security presence in the area. Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed? I’m trying to understand this from the perspective of the security staff but fundamentally, I don’t think there’s any legislation that prevents me from flying near these buildings.

Could the legislation around crowds apply? (The vast majority of the people in question would be safely inside the building).

Is there a minimum height from the buildings’ roofs that I should consider?

I intend to take off and land on a public bridleway.

Any advice or insight would be very welcome as I want to approach this in the correct way and upset as few people as possible.

Many thanks

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No because they are in the building

Not legally no

Go at weekends, or prepare to stand your ground, the rules are on your side


I would have a video camera on standby incase there is confrontation.

Like @milkmanchris says :+1:

I am going to be flamed :fire::fire::fire::fire::fire: look at the knobhead dji audit on YouTube as it will be the quickest way to understand how much rights you have, ignore the pricks provocation and just watch his flights :roll_eyes::sunglasses::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Had to laugh when he seemed so surprised to be nearly driven off the road on his bike by the SEG at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham. :joy:

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Print off CAP 2007

Tell the gate or reception what you are doing and why, be polite, give them a copy of CAP 2007 highlighting the point that say restrictions don’t apply to sub 250g.
Then fly from public land, they then have no comeback. But be polite, if theyapproach you and get anti with a few members of staff nearby which they could call on they could be considered to be causing alarm, harassment and distress which is an offence.

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You could also sweeten the deal by offering to give them an overhead still of the premises that they could then hang in their reception.


It actually does work. :+1:

Good to see you back Nidge :love_you_gesture:


If you’re flying your Mini 3 then, so far as overflying goes, you’d be fine (unless there is an actual crowd of people outside, of course).

From an aesthetic, rather than legal, viewpoint though… you may find that footage taken from height a bit of a distance away from your subject is more pleasing than a straight-down shot of a factory roof.

Similarly, when you ask if there’s a minimum height - if you are going for the straight-down shot, zipping along ten feet above the roof isn’t going to give you much at all.

Also, don’t forget that non-drone laws apply. If they think you’re harassing staff/visitors, or are generally causing a nuisance, waving a printout of a CAA publication about isn’t going to get you far when the police arrive.

Final point: Just because the Drone Code says you can overfly the building, you still have to account for yourself so far as the infamous Article 241 of the ANO:

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

You’ll know yourself if you’re falling foul of Wheaton’s Law.

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He is a knob head absolutely right. But does actually highlight our rights quite well…

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Damn, I just watched a couple videos on his channels and while I guess it could be informative, this is the exact opposite of how I’m planning to behave. I guess his MO is to antagonise people to entertain his followers?

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Thanks all for the advice - it’s reassuring that nothing I intend to do would be a breach of the legislation, and having a chat with someone at the gatehouse is a good shout. I was thinking of getting some cards printed up with my details, that I could hand to them.

The reason I asked about minimum height is that the distribution centre is home to one of the largest warehouses in the UK (1m+ sq. ft.) and I had an idea to get some footage where the frame is filled by the roof and as I overfly the building (backwards), I’d increase altitude to show the extent of the building, but I wouldn’t be getting any closer than perhaps 50ft from the top of the structure itself.

The incident I referenced before may have been an outlier but it was pretty unpleasant, and I’d prefer to avoid a similar scenario if at all possible.

Commonly known round these parts as click bait shite

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I struggle to watch these videos, make me feel embarrassed for everyone involved.

Just because you can do something it doesn’t necessarily mean you should do something.

In theory I could fly a Mini2 up and down my street, above my neighbouring properties, in a zig-zag pattern, battery after battery, infinitum. There’s nothing pertaining to the current drone regulations that prevents me from doing so.

Should I?

Definitely not!

It serves no purpose other than to anger those around me,


Fill a hole in the void where I feel others should bow to my delusional sense of superiority on all things. A classic example of the Dunning Kuger Effect, which all self proclaimed “Auditors” are afflicted with.

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