The CAA has published the latest amendments to the Air Navigation Order 2016 in CAP1763.

Commercial drone operators must ensure that their operation and all procedural documents are updated to comply with the latest revisions.

CAP 1763 details the changes made to the ANO that restrict the flight of drones near to airports amongst other important updates.

Protected aerodromes now have extended Runway Protection Zones in line with the main runways.

The dimensions of the runway protection zone are a rectangular portion of airspace measuring 5km long by 1km wide extending from the surface to a height of 2,000ft above the level of the aerodrome. The zone extends away from each runway threshold (which is a surveyed point) on an aerodrome, into the approach ‘lane’ for that runway.

 

 

Note: At Heathrow Airport, each runway protection zone is 1.5km wide – this has been done to ensure that there is no ‘gap’ between the parallel runway protection zones when they project outside of the ATZ.

 

London Heliport (Battersea) does not have any runway protection zones. Although the heliport has two notified thresholds, they are only a short distance apart and the use of runway protection zones provides no bene t to the type of operations that take place. As a result, the London Heliport flight restriction zone consists of a 2nm radius ATZ only.

Additional Boundary Zones

What’s an ‘additional boundary zone’ and how is it determined?

This allows for cases where an aerodrome has a large land area and the shape of an aerodrome’s boundary means that the ATZ boundary falls within 1km of the aerodrome boundary but is not accommodated by a runway protection zone. The effect of this zone is to modify the shape of the ATZ boundary so that aerodromes with an unusually large land area do not inadvertently suffer a decrease in protection when compared with the existing 1km flight restriction zone established in the 2018 amendment. To date, no UK aerodromes have been identified as requiring an additional boundary zone.

What does this mean to commercial Drone operators?

The Protection Zones are extensions to the airspace controlled by Air Traffic Control, as such, they require the operator to request permission to fly in them exactly the same as other controlled airspace.

 

Well trained commercial operators will have learnt exactly how to communicate with ATC and how to request permission to operate within this restricted area.

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