Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a license to fly a drone?

Strictly speaking there is no such thing as a drone ‘license’ in the UK.

However, if you intend to own and operate a drone in the UK then you must first register for an Operator ID and a Flyer ID. Depending on what drone you want to fly and where you want to fly it, you may also need to obtain some form of certification

It's a great idea to join a group (like Flyby Technology on Facebook) and keep up to date with all the latest information on flying your drone safely.

How do I register my drone?

An Operator ID is required for the person that owns the drone and you will need to affix your Operator ID to your drone for identification purposes. Obtaining an Operator ID will come with a small fee payable yearly to the CAA.
A Flyer ID is required for the person that operates the drone and you will need to carry proof of this ID before you can fly. The Flyer ID is completely free, but you must complete a small online quiz.
You can obtain both IDs here:

Where can I fly my drone?

Where you can fly is dependant on what drone you have and the level of risk involved.
There are three categories for drone operations in the UK. These are:

  • Certified (high-risk) – Bespoke Operations that are highly complex and have a large element of risk to them. This category is irrelevant to most drone operators.
  • Specific (medium-risk) – Operations that contain more risk than the Open category, and will require an Operational Authorisation from the CAA and a General Visual Line of Site Certificate (GVC).
  • Open (low-risk) – This includes most other types of operations and covers operations where there is little to no risk. The open category is further divided into three sub-categories:
  • Fly Over (A1) – This subcategory enables you to fly aircraft over uninvolved people (but not open-air assemblies), provided that are using a drone that is under 250 g.
  • Fly Near (A2) – This subcategory enables you to fly aircraft closer to people, at 30m lateral distances from uninvolved people, provided that you are using a drone that is under 2 kg and you have a A2 Certificate of Competency (A2CofC)
  • Fly Far (A3) – This subcategory covers any flights that take place away from people and are 150m away from congested areas (residential, commercial, industrial or recreational).

There are also Flight Restriction Zones (FRZ) in the UK, like around airports, prisons, military ranges, royal palaces, and government buildings. You'll need to follow the rules and regulations of the UK Air Navigation Order and ensure you are flying in a safe area.
You can find details of FRZs and other airspace restrictions in NATS' map of airspace restrictions.
Generally, you will want to follow these rules:

  • Always fly below 120m (400ft).
  • Do not fly closer to people than 50m.
  • Never fly over people who are crowded together.
  • Keep at least 150m away from residential, recreational, commercial and industrial sites (Unless operating in the A1, A2 or Specific Category).
  • Stay well away from airports, airfields, spaceports and aircraft.
  • Follow the drone code.

What is the Drone Code?

The Drone Code outlines your responsibilities as a drone pilot, and should always be followed. In brief:

  • You must know how to fly your drone safely, and within the law.
  • You, the operator is legally responsible for every flight.
  • You must keep your drone in sight at all times – stay below 400ft.
  • Do not to fly your drone over a congested or built-up area, never fly within 50 metres of a person, vehicle or building not under your control.
  • Never fly in an airport's flight restriction zone or close to aircraft. It is a criminal offence to endanger the safety of an aircraft in flight.
  • Ensure any images you obtain using the drone do not break privacy laws.
  • Your drone should show a valid operator ID if it weighs over 250g

You can access the Drone Code in full here:

Can I sell images and videos taken with my drone?

There is no distinction between flying commercially and flying recreationally. An approval just to operate commercially is not required, so anyone can pick up a drone and start earning money.
However, you must have valid insurance cover for any commercial flights.

How do I train to become a professional drone pilot?

If you want to make a profit from flying your drone, or change your career and become a drone pilot, Flyby offer top quality drone training courses across the UK. If you're unsure where to start, get in touch and we'll advise you on the best course for your requirements. We can also advise you on which drone to invest in, so do get in touch at