Flying a drone in congested and restricted areas

Tower Bridge Drone Photo

Flying a drone in congested and restricted areas

We can fly our drones in congested areas as CAA approved and licensed PfCO holders. This is especially useful for flying in residential and commercial areas for structural and roof inspections as well as other photography and video work from the air. We always carry out rigerous planning including risk assessments and any neccessary other liasion as part of any such commercial drone flight so it is carried out legally and as safely as possible. For example this may involve contacting NATS (main UK Air Traffic Control provider), an airfield, the police, a local council, private landowner or nearby building occupants.

To illustrate an example we can share, we flew in central London a congested and restricted area around the O2 as part of a training exercise as well as around Tower Bridge, shown in the photo below. These flights required the drone to be unlocked for one of these areas (the O2) as it was a restricted area, which required further liasion and permissions to be granted in our planning prior to the flights actually taking place and at the time, which was more than generally neccessary due to the location and vicinity to London City Airport.

Tower Bridge Drone Photo

Tower Bridge Drone Photo (c) Copyright Above Horizon Photography 2020

As licensed and insured PfCO holders we are allowed to fly in and above congested areas, whereas hobbysts must remain at least 150m away from such areas, can not overfly nor carry out commercial aerial work as we are permitted to (although many sadly do fly illegally in such areas as can be seen on countless social media posts).  We can also also seek permission to fly in restricted areas, such as within FRZ areas (airports), prisons, millitary or other restricted areas and unlock our drones as required.

Our DJI drones have a built in Geo System which limits or prevents flying in some areas without first being unlocked, such as in FRZ zones (near airports).  See here for further informaton DJI Geo System.

O2 area unlocking request

A DJI unlocking request around the O2 Arena, London, which we used to fly within a specific restricted area.

Inspire 2 above river Thames

Mavic Pros O2

Construction SitesShow home, concrete being lifted by crane, construction site


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