The military carry out essential training exercises at low altitudes and these flights are not limited to specific geographical zones and timetables. They can occur anywhere in the UK, at any time of the day or night and can be under 400 feet or even as low as the ground in the case of helicopters taking off and landing.

DSR Working with the RAF and Low Flying Requirements

So these flights mean that all drone pilots will potentially be sharing the airspace.  This applies to commercial pilots of course but also to hobbyists – we all need to play our part in reporting flights and staying alert to the presence of military aircraft to ensure everyone’s safety.

Here’s what you should consider,

  1.   Phone 0800 515544 (between 7am to 11pm on Mon-Thursday and 7am – 5pm on Fridays) before you fly or send an email to Swk-lfofdrones@mod.gov.uk with the date, time, location and max altitude of your flight.  Your presence will be added to the military database and they will be able to inform you of any planned low flight activity.
  2. Look. When you are flying, keep an eye on the skies for the presence of military aircraft.
  3. During your flight, listen for aircraft engine noise to alert you to an aircraft being nearby.
  4. Stand Out. Wear high visibility clothing so that you can be seen from distance.  It will give the pilot a signal that there may be a drone in the air nearby.
  5. Use Drone Assist app (or com from your desktop) to report your flight in advance.
  6. Spot a Low Flying Aircraft? Descend your craft immediately and safely land as soon as possible and keep it on the ground until the danger has passed.