The Isle of Man Civil Aviation Administration is reminding locals and visitors not to use drones to film the TT or Billown Circuit practices and races, and is warning of potential prosecution and fines for those that infringe a drone 'no-fly' zone.
Residents and visitors are asked to observe the following drone 'no-fly' zones which will be in place in 2023:
- For the TT fortnight, from 29 May until the end of 11 June: Drones must not be flown over or within 1,000 metres of the course while the roads are closed for practice/qualifying or race sessions
- For the Red Arrows display on 8 June from 7:20pm until 8:10pm: Drones must not be flown over or within six miles of Douglas
- For Manx Grand Prix, from 20 August until the end of 29 August: Drones must not be flown over or within 1,000 metres of the course while the roads are closed for practice/qualifying or race sessions
The Billown Circuit is located within the Airport’s existing 'no-fly' zone for drones.
Deputy Director of Civil Aviation, Colin Gill, commented:
‘The airspace above the TT course is used by emergency and filming helicopters before, during and after racing and practising taking place. The Billown Circuit is also located within the five kilometre airspace restriction for the Isle of Man Airport, within which drones should not be flown due to the dangers they could pose to an aircraft taking off or landing at the airport. There will also be a Red Arrows display in Douglas Bay on 8 June at 7:30pm, during which any drone flight in the vicinity could cause danger.
‘Drones can also pose a serious distraction to riders. Marshals are informed to immediately report any drones to race control and the police, which may result in the practice or race being halted.
‘Whilst the Isle of Man’s racing festivals are a fantastic display, we request that all drone operators respect the 'no-fly' zones while they are in place to ensure the safety of participants and that the events remain a safe and enjoyable spectacle of racing.’
This year, Greenlight TV has been approved to operate a drone in a number of specified locations around the TT course to supplement their footage of the event. This operation has been carefully coordinated with the event organisers and the official helicopter operators.
Breach of the restriction is an offence punishable on conviction by a fine of up to £10,000.