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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. Follow these simple steps to make sure you are flying safely and legally.

  • Don't fly higher than 400 feet.
  • Make sure you can see your drone at all times.
  • 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.
  • At night you are unlikely to be able monitor the drone’s flight path in relation to other aircraft or persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions. Commercial operators are not normally granted permission to fly at night; can you really do this safely?
  • Always keep your drone away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields. Recreational drone operators are strongly advised not to fly within 3NM of the airport, see map below (click for an enlarged view). Commercial operators are required to obtain specific permission from Air Traffic Control in addition to holding a CAA Permission for their activities.

Drone exclusion map

  • 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

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