Drones exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from small handheld types up to large aircraft, some potentially a similar size to traditional large aircraft, and may be referred to as:
- Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
- Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS)
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
- Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA)
- Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft (SUSA)
They may be used for a multitude of purposes including recreational flying, aerial photography and other commercial or military operations.
Just like any other aircraft, a drone must always be flown in a safe manner, both with respect to other aircraft in the air and also to people and property on the ground. When you fly a drone in the Isle of Man it is your responsibility to be aware of the rules that are in place to keep everyone safe.
Fly safely and legally
Follow these simple steps to make sure you are flying safely and legally:
- make sure you can see your drone at all times
- don't fly higher than 400 feet
- drones fitted with cameras must not be flown:
- within 50 metres of people, vehicles, vessels, or structures
- over or within 150 metres of a congested areas or large gatherings of people
- commercial operators are required to obtain written permission from the Isle of Man Civil Aviation Administration to fly within the limits detailed above
At night you are unlikely to be able to monitor the drone's flight path in relation to other aircraft or persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions. Can you really do this safely? Commercial operators are required to submit a specific safety case in support of a request to fly at night.
Always keep your drone away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields. Recreational drone operators are strongly advised not to fly within 5 km of Isle of Man Airport (see map below, click for an enlarged view.) Commercial operators are required to obtain specific permission from Air Traffic Control to fly near Isle of Man Airport, in addition to holding a CAA Permission for their activities.
New restrictions come into effect on 1 January 2019 which will prohibit drone flights within 5 km of Isle of Man Airport.
Neither Andreas nor Jurby aerodromes have an Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ). However, you should exercise particular care when planning to operate close to these locations, especially so in the areas in line with the runway ends where aircraft will be making their approach to land and climbing away.
Although there is infrequent manned aircraft activity below 400 feet at Jurby, Manx Model Flyers operate model aircraft there from time to time. Further information is available from the link to Manx Model Flyers web site above. You should also take account of the location of, and remain clear of the Isle of Man Prison that is situated on part of the aerodrome.
New restrictions come into effect on 1 January 2019 which will prohibit drone flights over the Isle of Man Prison.
There is manned aircraft activity from time to time at Andreas including both powered GA and gliding activity. Andreas Gliding Club normally operates on Sundays, other GA activity may operate at any time. Further information is available from the link to the Andreas Gliding Club web site above.
Keep in mind
- Make sure you have permission from Isle of Man Civil Aviation Administration to fly your drone for commercial purposes
- Drone operators must also respect the privacy of people on the ground. More information is available from:
- Be mindful to whose property you are flying your drone from or over
- Landowners are within their rights to refuse permission for drones to be flown from their land – Public areas may also be subject to additional policies and/or byelaws restricting the operation of drones and/or a requirement to obtain prior permission
- Use your common sense and fly safely – you could be prosecuted if you don't
- Follow the Drone Code