Popularly known as drones, but also referred to as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from small handheld types up to large aircraft, potentially a similar size to airliners.
Just like any other aircraft, an unmanned aircraft must always be flown in a safe manner, both with respect to other aircraft in the air and also to people and properties on the ground.The CAA’s primary aim is to enable the full and safe integration of all UAS operations into the UK’s total aviation system.
Guidance for keeping your drone flight safe and legal
Flying drones for fun (non-commercial flights)
• guidance for flying drones safely
Check whether you need a permission
If you want to use a drone for non-commercial work and are unsure whether you need a permission, please see our
• guidance on operating permissions
This may be of particular relevance to public sector organisations, charities and NGOs.
Flying drones commercially
• relevant regulation and how to get a permission from the CAA
• how to renew or change your permission
• guidance for flying large unmanned aircraft (aircraft with an operating mass of more than 20kg)
Approved commercial drone operators
If you are looking for an approved drone operator to use for an event or job, you can access details of all individuals and organisations that hold a CAA Permission for Aerial Work.
Please note, these companies are only approved from a safety perspective and the CAA does not take any responsibility for the quality of their work.
Reporting safety concerns
Anyone using a drone has to follow some basic safety rules to ensure that members of the public are protected.
Drone operators must also respect the privacy of people on the ground. More information on this is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.
If you have any concerns about drones being used in your area, either from a safety or privacy perspective, contact your local police on 101.
The CAA does not investigate complaints of drone misuse.