New Windsor Restrictions

Have just seen that Thames Valley Police have applied to designated Windsor as Restricted Airspace - 1.5nm circle centred on the Castle, with a Ceiling of 2500ft

Exemptions for Heathrow Traffic and flights with Police permission.

Details and email link for feedback

Nicer non ftp link


I think it’s a bit on the large side. Maybe 1/2 a mile would have been more suitable. So as not to infringe on Joe public drone flyer as much.


Totally agree and it sets a bad precedent, which will get applied elsewhere. The security angle is fine but it restricts legitimate flights over a huge area.

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It may set a precedent. I recognise that there is a potential security issue although HM is not a permanent resident of the West Slough area. Windsor Great Park is, I beieve, already on the Royal Parks list of no palaces to fly (if only there were an easy, free and up-to-the minute app to check on where flying is allowed …). Why not have a restricted area activated by NOTAM only when HM is at the castle?

There are many residences for members of the House of Windsor around the country - will granting this restriction open the doors to permanent FRZs around each and every building? And will eevry person and organisation that thinks UAVs may be one way of causing them harm be able to apply for a FRZ?

The problem is that, to the non pilot, this is an eminently sensible and probably necessary measure to further ensure the security of our (beloved) monarch.

Prince Charles’s home in Scotland is already protected by specific airspace regulations:

The aim of the new system is indeed to make it easy for pretty much anyone to create new restriction zones. The difficulty for them is that they have to actively manage the airspace and can’t refuse reasonable requests for access, which is an obligation most organisations won’t want.


As per this previous discussion:


Thank you - innteresting reading :slight_smile:

I wonder if they’ll close all the roads in the same area. Car/Truck bombs have been far more common, and FAR BIGGER than any explosive payload in a drone could ever be. (… ignoring military ones, perhaps.)

Is it just me? Surely anyone wanting to cause harm using a drone bomb wouldn’t care a shit if there is a FRZ around the area :thinking: or are we talking about the really common, law abiding kind of bomber?


Plod’s thinking is probably that if there is no legitimate drone activity without their permission, then anything untoward is easier to spot.

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Many years ago I was photographing surveillance cameras in Central London (yes, yes, I know) and was stopped by the police. One of their questions was where I stood on the Irish situation. Presumably they caught many IRA-sympathising people who were out on reconnaissance in plain view using this simple question.

From the wording I assume it encompasses manned aircraft as well as UAVs ?

I assume so - though with Heathrow being Class A airspace a manned aircraft would have Heathrow ATC yelling at them well before they could get near Windsor. Which is probably why Windsor hasn’t already had Restricted airspace added like the Royal Residences that are surrounded by class G uncontrolled airspace

Houston … errrr … Heathrow - we have a problem.

Standard instrument approach has a glide slope of 3°.

The threshold of Hethrow’s Runway 10L and 10R are 8,000m away from Windsor Castle.

Therefore, as they are over the castle, they are only at 420m … less than the top of this proposed new restriction. (at 2,500ft / 762m).

There will be an exemption for Heathrow Traffic, some of the other restricted zones near airports have clauses like “Does not apply to Aircraft taking off or landing at [Airport] under direction of [Airport ATC]”

LOL! I know. Just playing devil’s advocate.


1.5nm does seem an overly large area but I’d guess they want to cover the castle, frogmore estate, stables and farm without necessarily making it obvious that this target area.

In terms of roads the security services have moved on from direct closures to more of a defence in depth approach really interesting if you ever have the current approach explained but not something to describe on a public forum. It’s not what you can see but what you can’t. :wink:

Covers Eton too. Not that I am a cynic or anything…

This may well be due to the fact that the Queen may have decided she will remain at Windsor as opposed to Buck House on a perm basis. It has been mentioned recently. Has a CAA Notam been issued?

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Not yet, Police are inviting comments until the 30th of April - so assume the legal process will start after that to come into effect later in the year