Frequently Asked Questions:

The most frequent questions about our solutions:
As an airspace or land manager, why do I need to be UTM ready?

As the use of drones continues to expand, the demand for access to land for take-off and landing, and entering controlled airspace, will also increase from commercial drone operators. Obtaining a clear understanding of who wants to access your land/airspace is an important safety consideration.


A UTM solution provides important insight and simplifies the flight permissioning process, reduces the administrative burden by centralising information, and keeps the level of direct interaction to a minimum, allowing you to focus on other tasks. It also allows airspace managers and landowners to publish tariffs for processing these requests, highlighting to the 200,000+ UK drone operators, that they are open for business and ready to develop their drone eco-system and embrace the drone revolution and its significant benefits.

As a land access manager, can I set my own rules for drone users wanting to take off and land from my property?

Yes.  GuardianUTM enables zone managers to stipulate the rules/conditions of access to their land (or 'Drone Policy') that need to be followed.  This information will be shown within your 'UTM-Ready' zone information panel on the GuardianUTM airspace maps. 

As a landowner or land manager, can I say I don’t want people flying drones over my property?

NOTE: Regulations differ in different countries.


Under aviation law, there is typically no recognition of the airspace over privately owned property. Regulations typically only apply to controlled or restricted airspace, as is found around airports and sensitive sites like prisons, military training areas and power stations.


It is the requirement of a drone operator to obtain relevant permission to access and use any private land that is required for their operation.


The addition of GuardianUTM approval services “Automation & Workflow” Feature Pack allows automated rejections for land access during sensitive times.  For example, a nature reserve may request that due to nesting birds an area should not be used between 15th February and 28th April, or after dark, or a farmer may request that drone flights do not take place over livestock within the farm.

When does the drone operator get charged?

The drone operator’s payment card is authorised at the time the flight request is submitted, however, the card is only charged once an approval is given.

Do drone operators get a refund if they do not fly, once they have received approval?

The operator is only charged when an approval is issued.


If zone managers need to rescind the approval before the operation is scheduled to take place, then the drone operator receives an automatic full refund, even if other intersecting zones have provided a positive approval.


If a drone operator cancels their plan after an approval is issued, then they are not refunded. We recommend operators edit their plan rather than cancel it in the event an operation is unable to go ahead as originally planned.

What happens when a drone operator’s flight spans multiple land or airspace zones, with different fee structures?

Primarily there are two main zone types – one for land access, the other covering airspace access.


For land access, usually fees apply only for accessing a private landowner’s property and not over-flying, so the fee applied will relate to the point of take-off and landing.


The fees for flying through airspace zones are combined cumulatively to determine the total fee. Each zone fee is clearly displayed to the drone operator before submitting for approval, allowing for adjustments to the flight plan if desired.

What happens with Tax? Specifically VAT (Tax) / Sales Tax?

Local in-country sales tax rules will have to be observed at the point of payment for this digital service to consumers. In the UK Altitude Angel can make those sales tax payments on behalf of the Customer operating a zone. In all cases, Altitude Angel will provide a summary of tax payments paid, or due.

What payment platform does Altitude Angel use, and does it charge a fee?

GuardianUTM uses Stripe, one of the most widely used online payment platforms.


While it does charge a nominal fee, this is covered by Altitude Angel's costs within the Approval Fees and zone managers will not be additionally charged.

Which card/payment services does Stripe support?

Stripe supports many cards, bank debits, bank transfers, bank redirects and payment services. This includes the most widely accepted cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express and many more. Altitude Angel does not currently support Wallet payments such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or AliPay through Stripe.

Are payment card details held by zone managers or Altitude Angel?

No credit card details are held by Altitude Angel or the zone manager. The payment pre-authorisation is performed within Stripe and Altitude Angel has no access to, nor retains, the payment details of drone operators.

When do zone managers get paid their flight approval fees?

Payment of collected Approval Fees is paid quarterly to the Customer operating a zone, where applicable.


Where the Customer zone manager has selected to solely recoup the costs for Altitude Angel to provide an approvals service within their zone, then there is no share due to the Customer operating a zone.

As an Airspace or Land Manager, if I have multiple zones, or even subzones, can I charge a different fee per zone?

Yes – a ‘rate card’ and ‘service level’ can be tied to a specific zone, or subzone, meaning you have the choice to charge a flat fee across all zones, or have the option to increase, or decrease, the fee where it is necessary (e.g. where there are greater costs incurred, fewer or additional approvers/ stakeholders, etc).


Please note: that the charge is additive, so if an operator submits a plan that crosses more than one zone, they will be required to select a service level and pay for each of those zones.

You are providing an approval service; I didn’t think you were allowed to charge for accessing the airspace?

The charge is to cover the administration costs of managing a flight. To review flight plans, ensuring flights are deconflicted against current airspace users and other uncrewed operations can take a considerable amount of time. It is recognised that these costs need to be recuperated by those responsible for permissioning.

What is a UTM system?

Many definitions of UTM exist, ranging from Unmanned Systems Traffic Management to our preferred, Unified Traffic Management, which Altitude Angel takes to mean something rather more inclusive than a sole focus on un-piloted aircraft.


What is clear is almost without exception, everybody has a slightly different interpretation about what exactly this acronym means and, perhaps more importantly, what it means to them.


UTM is a term which has unfortunately been diluted and somewhat misused, to the point which has led many to the conclusion ‘UTM’ is an app on a smartphone.


In our definition of UTM, there is an implicit acknowledgement UTM is not a ‘thing’, but a movement towards an eventual situation in which the airspace is fundamentally able to be used in a different way than today, by a wider (and more voluminous) variety of aircraft, organisations, and persons.

How quickly can the platform be set up and ready to go?

With GuardianUTM, you can be UTM-ready in as little as 1 month following contract signature. This includes training and implementing support package.


Where greater customisation is needed, such as for custom workflows as part of the “Automation & Workflow” Feature Pack, this may require extra time and effort to activate, and we would be happy to provide more information as part of the quotation and/or order.

What happens if the GuardianUTM platform goes down?

Our cloud-based system is extremely resilient with a high-degree of redundancy and failover. Our SLA commits to 99.9% uptime over a continually rolling 30-day period. Typically, we exceed this target and have a reputation for providing an extremely stable platform.


As a SaaS provider, we take all the stress and cost out of hosting, maintaining and upgrading the system. You will benefit from our continuous improvement programme with improvements, fixes and upgrades all carried out without interruption to service.

How do I know that a drone pilot is flying lawfully if I grant access to take off or land on my property?

It is the responsibility of the drone operator to ensure the correct permissions, certifications, documentation and due diligence have been carried out and are in place to support their safe flight.


The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has guidance on using drones for both private and commercial use, and most other National Aviation Authorities in each country provide similar guidance which can be found on their respective websites.


As an example, in the UK:

  • To get a flyer ID drone operators must pass a theory test. The organisation that owns or is responsible for the drone or model aircraft must register for an operator ID.

  • The operator ID shows a basic flying test has been passed and the operator has the know-how to fly safely and legally. The operator ID is a pilot’s registration number and must be labelled on the drone or model aircraft.

  • A drone operator should carry out a Drone Risk Assessment giving you a good indication of the hazards and risks when preparing a drone flight. It identifies the common hazards and includes control measures to reduce the risks associated with operating, launching and landing a drone.

As well as insurance a drone operator should;

  1. Not fly above 400 feet.

  2. Never allow their drone to fly outside visual sightlines.

  3. Not fly over groups of people, or stadiums.

  4. Not fly within five miles of an airport, unless they have sort and obtained permission from the airspace controller.

  5. Never fly near emergency response sites.

  6. Not fly near other aircraft.

  7. Never fly under the influence.


While you may like to be assured that a drone operator is flying lawfully, it is not your responsibility to ensure that is the case.


How can I tell a drone pilot to stop flying if there is a problem?

The GuardianUTM Approval Services feature gives the airspace or landowner full control over the permissioning of a flight. Should it be necessary the approval can be revoked at any point prior to, or even during, the flight at which point the drone operator will receive a real-time notification to their registered mobile phone and via email. 

What is U-Space and do I need it?

The European Union established the U-space Regulatory Framework implementation regulation (EU) 2021/664 on 22nd April 2021. Its objective is to “lay down rules and procedures for the safe operations of UAS in the U-Space airspace, for the safe integration of UAS into the aviation system and for the provision of U-space services”.


It was published in May 2021 and applicable from 26 January 2023. For further information, visit EUR-Lex.


It applies to airspace designated as “U-space airspace” only, which is a specific, new classification of airspace that can be designated by EU member states following a risk assessment. Within each U-Space airspace, requirements on the UAS, the U-Space services to be provided, together with the operational conditions are defined within the regulation.

What are the system requirements for GuardianUTM client software?

All of Altitude Angel's GuardianUTM web-based services and have been developed to work on most modern web browsers. We test on the following browsers:

For minimum system specifications, please see the developer’s specifications for your chosen browser.


We typically support current versions and version-1 of the above browsers.


Both the Operations Manager and Operator Portal require a stable broadband, or high-speed mobile internet connection.


Do Altitude Angel perform penetration (pen) testing?

As part of our development process our systems and applications undergo full security testing at least once per year.


Testing is performed to established security testing methodologies and certified processes including those defined by CREST, the UK National Cyber Security Centre, the Institute for Security and Open Methodologies (ISECOM) and the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).

Can GuardianUTM be provided in a different or multi- language?

Altitude Angel’s Operator Portal web application has a language selector, but we request help from the customer to translate all UI text into their language with the exception of English, French and Dutch which are already in place. All other web applications for use in zone management are currently only available in English.


Translation for the data provided via our APIs can be discussed with our sales team for more details.


Our Guardian and Drone Assist mobile apps are available in English only and can be regionalised when released in partnership with national airspace providers.

Which regions does Altitude Angel's airspace and ground hazard data cover?

Global coverage for both Aeronautical and Ground Hazards but it is important to note some regions, such as the US and Europe, have richer and more detailed data.

How does Altitude Angel receive NOTAMs and what is the frequency of updates?

Altitude Angel receives NOTAMs via real-time updates from Eurocontrol & FAA which are then available to all users of our map data up to 1 minute after publication, typically much quicker (seconds). A small fraction of NOTAMs are very large or unusual and are manually reviewed before publication so can take longer (a few hours) to appear. Our platform, GuardianUTM, validates and verifies data prior to publishing, and we have dedicated geospatial engineers reviewing data accuracy all the time.

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