Flight Restriction Zone

 

In the United Kingdom, 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 which is either 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. 

 

Airspace restriction zones diagram

 

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 outside of these areas, which you can do on dronesafetymap.com or request permission to enter the FRZ. 

 

The list of protected aerodromes also includes heliports, these only comprise the circular (ATZ) portion of the FRZ (and additional zones where applicable), and do not include runway protection zones. 

 

In the case of a protected aerodrome without an ATZ, the FRZ includes an ATZ shaped FRZ, with a 2nm radius (regardless of the runway length). 

 

Permission must be obtained from the relevant authority before an unmanned aircraft may fly within a Flight Restriction Zone.   

 

Through our Apps and services, we identify the relevant authority for each FRZ in the UK.  Where an aerodrome has deployed GuardianUTM Enterprise, then this acts as the mechanism by which you can request permission to fly inside the FRZ. 

 

Where can I find airspace restrictions for UAS? 

 

Drone Assist is the drone safety app powered by Altitude Angel.  It provides an interactive map of the sky and is used by general aviation, balloon pilots, and other airspace users. It allows you to see areas to avoid or in which extreme caution should be exercised, as well as ground hazards which may pose safety, security or privacy risks when flying your drone. 

 

It also contains a ‘Fly Now’ feature which enables you to share your drone flight location with other app users and the wider drone community, allowing you to avoid other airspace traffic so you can have a safe and enjoyable flight. 

 
Drone Assist is available on the App Store and Google Play store:

 

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The airspace data layers are updated in real time which ensures you have up-to-the-minute information about the safety and legality of any given area, including the latest NOTAMs. 

 

Airspace Access Reporting 

 

If you have been denied access to a portion of UK airspace, and feel that your request was not considered appropriately, you can  report this to the CAA. 


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