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Hummingbird’s guide to the March 2019 ANO Amendments

On the 20th February 2019, the UK government published amendments to The Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO). In this post we explain the important changes you need to know about.

The amendment (SI No. 261) comes into force on 13 March 2019. Part of the new changes apply to the previous amendment that was published on 30 May 2018. Some parts of the amendment came into force on 30 July 2018, other parts do not come into force until 30 November 2019.

2019 ANO Amendments:

1.  It remains illegal to fly a drone of any mass within an aerodrome flight restriction zone without permission.

  • Aerodromes can take the form of airports, military airfields, or smaller aviation airfields. You can find the full list of the UK’s aerodromes in the UK Aeronautical Information Publication (UKAIP) here.
  • Aerodromes have a ‘flight restriction zone’ around them to ensure the safety of aircraft. They are active at all times and apply to drones of any mass.

2.  From 13th March 2019, the flight restriction zones around airports and airfields will change.

  • The previous 1km restriction from an airfield boundary will be replaced by the airfield’s existing Aerodrome Traffic Zone boundary, and Runway Protection Zone, which together make up the new Flight Restriction Zone, which extends 2000ft above the airfield. You must not fly your drone within this area, unless you have permission.

Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ): This is the yellow hatched circle in the image below. Its epicentre is the midpoint of the longest runway and has a radius of 2 or 2.5 NM, depending on the runway’s length. If the runway at the ATZ is 1850m or longer, the radius is 2.5 NM.

Runway Protection Zone: This zone starts from the end of each of the airfields runways and extends 5km in 1km sections, marked by the yellow rectangle in the image below.

To view a map illustrating the flight restriction zones of individual airfield’s in the UK, visit the Drone Safe website.

3. To fly your drone within a restriction zone, you must have permission from either air traffic control, or the airport itself.

  • It’s up to Air Traffic Control, or the airport itself to give you permission to fly within an aerodrome flight restriction zone. You can find the contact details of air traffic control units in the UK here.
  • Special permission can be applied for from the relevant air traffic control unit, as opposed to the CAA if you want to fly above 400ft in a flight restriction zone.

Be sure to remember to pay due diligence and understand that just because a drone flight is carried outside of a flight restriction zone, this does not necessarily make the flight safe or legal. NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) should always be checked prior to drone flight to avoid conflicting operations between drones and other air activities.

It’s your responsibility as a remote pilot to ensure the safety of every flight, we welcome a shift to establishing clear guidelines, less susceptible to varying interpretations. Make sure you understand these changes and continue to stay on top of the evolving legislature.

After more information?

If you would like any further information on this topic don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!

You can also find a full write-up of the 2019 ANO amendments here.

We hope you get some use out of this guide, happy flying!

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