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Flight restrictions around aerodromes

Flights of unmanned aircraft around aerodromes that are designated as ‘protected aerodromes’ are restricted. Unmanned aircraft of any size must not be flown within the Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) of a protected aerodrome, without appropriate permission.


The Flight Restriction Zone consists of the following three elements:

  • A zone with the same dimensions as the Aerodrome Traffic Zone: A 2 or 2.5 nautical mile radius ‘cylinder’ around the aerodrome, extending 2000 ft above ground level, centred on the longest runway.
  • Runway Protection Zones: A rectangle extending 5Km from the threshold of each runway away from the aerodrome, along the extended runway centreline, and 500m either side – also to a height of 2000 ft above ground level.
  • Additional Zones: In the case where a line that is drawn 1Km beyond the boundary of an aerodrome extends beyond the Aerodrome traffic zone, and so would not be protected by it, the flight restriction zone will include a ‘bump’ (the airfield boundary + 1KM) to protect this part of the aerodrome.

The exact shape of the Flight Restriction Zone varies depending on the specific aerodrome that it protects. Prior to flight, remote pilots should check to ensure that they are operating well outside these areas.

Flight Restriction Zone

You can check this on the DronePrep map

Permission must be obtained from the relevant person before an unmanned aircraft may fly within a Flight Restriction Zone. This person is usually whoever is ‘in the Tower’ (i.e. an Air Traffic Controller or Airfield Flight Information Service Officer’. If neither of these is available, because the airfield has closed or there was no ATC/AFIS provision in the first place, then permission must be sought from the Aerodrome Operator.

Contact details are also shown on the DronePrep map

You can read more on the CAA’s website: