To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent introduction by the Civil Aviation Authority of Flight Restriction Zones around protected aerodromes on the interests of members of the British Model Flying Association in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
8 May 2019
The flight restriction zone around aerodromes was developed in response to submissions gathered through our consultation on the safe and effective regulation of drones, ‘Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK’. There was significant interest in the consultation, which closed in September 2018 and received around 5,000 responses. A range of options were considered when developing the extended restriction zone and factors including impacts on all airspace users, safety, security and the communication and enforceability of the zone were all evaluated.
The new legislation takes the same approach as the former restriction zone by allowing any small unmanned aircraft, including model aircraft, to fly within the restriction zone where the relevant permission has been received. When an Air Traffic Control Unit (ATCU) is operational, permission needs to be sought from this unit.
The CAA will be assessing the permissions process as part of a wider review of airport restriction zones later this year.