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New Airport ‘No-Fly’ Law Reduces ‘Drone Friendly Sky’ By Area ‘Half The Size Of Wales’

Altitude Angel, a world-leading aviation technology company, has today released the new-look restricted airspace maps for the UK and Northern Ireland ahead of increased airport no-fly regulations coming in to force on Wednesday this week. 

In February the government announced new legislation to extend the ‘no-fly’ zone around airports, banning drones from flying within five kilometers of runways, up from one kilometer, with the new law coming in to force on 13, March 2019. 

The revised airspace map, generated by Altitude Angel, has revealed 9,182 square kilometers of airspace (or nearly 3,545 square miles), which equates to an area approximately half the size of Wales, will be restricted in and around UK airports and aerodromes. Under the previous restrictions, just 1,800 square kilometers of airspace around airports were off-limits to drones. 

Whilst many urban and residential areas will remain unaffected by the new regulations (as airports, by their very nature, are often in less densely populated areas), several towns and cities will now find themselves within the updated ‘no-fly’ zones, which will restrict the use of drones in those areas. Examples include Manchester, Luton and Cambridge, with large areas of the city suburbs and towns falling within the restricted zones of Manchester, Stanstead and Cambridge airports. 

Likewise, residents of Crawley who wish to fly drones will also be forced to fly them further afield as the revised no-fly zone over Gatwick covers the Sussex town. 

Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, CEO and founder, said: “These new restrictions mean that the requirement for airports to engage with drone operators will increase. Our GuardianUTM O/S platform provides a mechanism to automate and where necessary involve air traffic controllers in providing digitised approvals so that legitimate, approved drone use within these zones can flourish.” 

The government is also working to progress a new Drones Bill which will be introduced in due course. It will give police officers powers to stop and search people suspected of using drones maliciously above 400ft or within 5km of an airport — which they claim will help to tackle disruption such as that seen at Gatwick in December. It will also give additional new powers to the police to clamp down on those misusing drones and other small unmanned aircraft — including the power to access electronic data stored on a drone or other equipment with a warrant. 

Altitude Angel

Altitude Angel

Altitude Angel is an award-winning provider of UTM (Unified Traffic Management) software, enabling those planning to operate, or develop UTM/U-Space solutions, to quickly integrate robust data and services with minimum effort.

From a consistent, well-documented and standards-based platform, drone manufacturers such as DJI and cutting-edge software developers around the world use our Developer Platform to obtain rich, relevant and local geofencing data, exchange and share flight plans, de-conflict their own flights in real-time and interface with national flight authorisation systems. A growing portfolio of enhanced capabilities help our customers to comply with current and future regulations and interface with changing national systems with only minimal effort.

Altitude Angel’s first party solutions also power some of the world’s leading ANSPs, aviation authorities and Enterprises, including LVNL (Netherlands) and Avinor (Norway), empowering them with new capabilities to safely manage and integrate drone traffic into national operations.

Today, Altitude Angel’s market-defining technology is providing a critical, enabling service on which the future of UTM, especially in controlled airspace, will be built across the globe.

By unlocking the potential of drones and helping national aviation authorities, ANSPs, developers and enterprise organisations, Altitude Angel is establishing new services to support the growth in the drone industry.

In 2021 Altitude Angel won a prestigious Air Traffic Management (ATM) Magazine Award in the ‘UTM Service Suppliers’ category, which recognises pioneering technologies and procedures developed by UTM service suppliers to advance safety and complex operations, for its Pop-Up UTM platform.  Read more about the awards here.

Altitude Angel was founded by Richard Parker in 2014 and is headquartered in Reading, UK.

Altitude Angel’s developer platform is open and available to all at


For further information please contact:

Stephen Farmer, Altitude Angel, Head of Corporate Communications & PR

+44 (0)118 391 3503

[email protected]