I live in North Somerset and the council website has a policy on drones here: http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-business/licensing/other-licences-and-permits/drones/
You’ll notice the URL and much of the document reiterates the standard CAA rules and regulations, however it appears to assume commercial use - for example the first clause: “As a pilot you must be licensed with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)” - I assume this is meant to refer to the CAA requirements for licencing for commercial drone use. As we know, this CAA restriction does not refer to hobby use, leading me to believe the whole document is only targeted at commercial users.
As a hobbyist living in North Somerset, and someone who has appropriate public liability insurance, I would like to think that North Somerset is not restricting my use of a drone for personal and non-commercial use beyond those restrictions already laid down by the CAA.
So I wrote to them to ask.
“I have discussed your enquiry with our Health and Safety Manager, and am informed by her that the standards laid out in the drone procedure apply to all drone pilots, commercial or hobbyists, if taking off, flying over or landing on North Somerset Council owned land.”
This seems pretty draconian. I’m not even sure they -can- restrict my flight OVER their land (provided I’m following CAA 50m guidance), can they?
I assume every bit of land that isn’t privately owned is council owned. So does this mean without CAA certification and explicit permission from the council, I can’t legally fly my drone in North Somerset unless I find some remote non-council land?
I’d like to continue the discussion with the council, but would appreciate some better-informed assistance to try and make my case.
I’m a member of the BMFA if that makes any difference. I know part of their remit is to speak for the community, would they perhaps take this up with the council does anyone know?