Drones & model aircraft

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's), more commonly referred to as "drones" are becoming increasingly popular as they become more affordable.  The use of drones is not permitted on any of the Dartmoor Common land within the National Park without prior authorisation from the National Park Authority. Permission to fly drones and other model aircraft is not normally granted as the National Park byelaws do not allow for these activities.

In certain cases, requests for flying of drones are granted to commercial film makers and photographers.  Requests for the use of drones for commercial activities such as filming are considered on a case by case basis in consultation with affected landowners as appropriate.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has set rules for the use of drones in the UK:

  • An unmanned aircraft must never be flown beyond the normal unaided "line of sight" of the person operating it - this is generally measured as 500m (1,640ft)horizontally or 400ft (122m) vertically
  • An unmanned aircraft fitted with a camera must always be flown at least 50m (164ft) distance away from a person, vehicle, building or structure
  • An unmanned aircraft fitted with a camera must not be flown within 150m (492ft) of a congested area or large group of people, such as a sporting event or concert

For commercial purposes, operators must also have permission to fly a drone from the CAA.