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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL4751, tabled on 18 January 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what rights exist for individuals and organisations to deal with drones which appear over their property.

Answered on

30 January 2017

The Air Navigation Order 2016 sets out several rules which drone users must abide by. In particular, users must not fly drones with cameras within 50m of any vehicle, structure or person which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft, unless they have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to do so.

Non-aviation specific legal rules are also relevant. For example, failure to fly a drone at a height over the property of another person which is ‘reasonable’ in all circumstances could amount to trespass if the flight interferes with another person’s ordinary use and enjoyment of land and the structures upon it. In the case of trespass, a civil claim may be brought against the drone user seeking compensation for any damage suffered as a result of the trespass. Alternatively, an injunction may be sought to prevent trespass in the future.

The Government is currently consulting on the future safe use of drones in the UK, including proposals such as registration and making drones electronically identifiable and strengthening penalties for breaking the law. The consultation can be found on gov.uk and closes on 15 March 2017.