Drone Law UK 2021 | BlackBeltBarrister

Drone Law UK 2021 | BlackBeltBarrister

Drone laws in the UK have changed dramatically since 31 December 2020, increasing regulation for certain aircraft but relaxing them from others. Here is a broad overview in Part 1 of my Drone Laws videos and why you should buy the DJI Mavic Mini 2 if you want to fly and get great drone footage.


Here is a link to the CAA rules:

Affiliate link for the DJI Mavic Mini 2:

Here is an older, larger drone that I made earlier! Sadly, now under far stricter rules!


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I’m a Barrister of England and Wales.
Videos for educational guidance only, Always seek advice before taking action.
#blackbeltbarrister #law #barrister


  1. Kentphotopics on April 23, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    What I detest is I having to print another bloody drone operator register code every bloody time I renew .
    Another label to print and place on the drone every time I renew . Flyer op ID what one you place on the drone two ID ‘ s more confusion . Op code seems to be getting longer soon, will not be practical to place on a small drone .
    CAA know how to piss law abiding people off.
    I think I prefer my gopro on a very long stick for high level photography , do not use drone very often.
    Too much regulations too much confusion , I use common sense.
    A gopro on a very long high stick from Amazon using Bluetooth wifi gets around the problem of getting pictures or footage at restricted areas .

  2. Norman Butler on April 23, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you.

  3. David Smith on April 23, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    I wonder how many have died from a drone? Meanwhile, helicopters and private planes crash all the time killing people. But concentrate on drones, because they are obviously dangerous…

  4. Rhys Lambert on April 23, 2022 at 6:14 pm

    So, if someone purchased a Mavic mini/Mavic mini 2 and wanted to use it for commercial purposes, all they would need to do is get 3rd party public liability cover? Or would they need permissions or licenses from the CAA to fly commercially?

  5. Gimbalair on April 23, 2022 at 6:14 pm

    Have you done Part 2 as yet? What’s crazy is you can get your Operational Authorisation by sitting your practical with a Mini2, pass and the following day buy a Matrice. Hell you could having never flown anything bigger than a mini!

  6. EdgyNumber1 on April 23, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Sorry dude but I value peoples’ safety. I shall NOT be using DJI.

    Well, well. For all the government’s shouting about ‘sovereignty’ and even trying to wipe the word ‘Europe’ from Britain’s psyche, we still follow EASA rules and not our own.

    Serious question though: Which certifications will allow me to work as an operator/flyer as part of my business or, someone else’s business?

  7. SHAUN OTP PRODUCER on April 23, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    there are 2 guys who fly 2 really big drones and told me there part of an association an they could fly were they like.. theres my garden and behind that is a small woodland and behind that is a kirklees coucil park and field they fly above the small woodland looking into all of mine and my nabours gardens which is within 50 meters of all out houses i told him theres the whole field to fly in why fly it near my house but im concered he is looking for dogs or motorbikes im unsure what i can do as my nabour breeds dogs and it seems very suspicious

  8. js27 on April 23, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    I shot a drone out of the sky this year. Great feeling fighting back at evil bastards invading our privacy

  9. magic life on April 23, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you for the information on drone flying. I was not sure of my rights as a person being filmed in my private back garden by a drone. I confronted the drone flyer and he did stope flying it over my property.

  10. Andrew Hill Phots & Videos on April 23, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    yes the lady did catch my attention but the information set before me was more important. I am a drone flyer and this all makes sense. thank you.

  11. Robert Kirby on April 23, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Display "Put (something) in a prominent place in order that it may readily be seen", your word. The CAA says you must label your drone. This is because it gives you a choice of being visible on the outside or being hidden in a compartment as long as the cover does not need tools to remove it. The difference is obviously being able to read the registration of a passing aircraft able to knock your house down and picking up the toy that knocked over your coffee mug (my definition of toy as the CAA does not have one and only refers to features that might suggest your drone is a toy). The vaguery between lifting off from back garden grass and where the CAA has authority over higher airspace comes from categories of controlled airspace with a lower limit of ground level. This was a misnomer as aircraft in it were not going to fly below 500 ft except for take off and landing hence the margin was never explored. Now flying toys have been dumped in an "inappropriate box" the regulators have discovered why they do not want to define the boundary, if that is what it can be called. Beware of using media reports of drones around airports. Gatwick had a much publicised event in which the proximity of the CAA field Headquarters was more interesting. Risk assesment???? There is record of a Canberra hitting a met balloon gondola at high altitude from the 1950s but I have yet to meet a pilot who has hit a radio controlled model. On the otherhand among those of us who made a living from flying I do not recall anyone who has not had a bird strike. For light relief after a Cat III autoland in serious fog look out for the marker boards in the grass by the runway turnoffs. This is where the crows gather to watch the daft humans flying when they only flutter and walk.

  12. Treblaine on April 23, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    "May not be flown within 150 metres horizontally of any area used for residential, commercial, industrial or recreational purposes" so… nowhere.

  13. Gmi Visuals (Jason) on April 23, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    May I ask your personal opinion on flying a sub250g drone such as mini 2 bvlos?
    Personally as this class of drone is considered very low risk I’m hopeful that the above could be considered by the CAA.
    Many have commented that this could never be possible because of possibility of landing helicopters such as emergency services.
    As the current rules are risk based I’d argue the risk of such an occurrence to be very small in rural areas.

    I wouldn’t however want Bvlos in built up areas as the risk is higher.

    As your a drone operator yourself I’d be very interested in your personal views on this subject.

  14. Robert Lockwood on April 23, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    What identity details can the police legally request from a drone operator?

  15. Tom Sivers on April 23, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Its also good to sign up for the BMFA so u can get up to £5 million of public liability insurance, i fly model planes and drones and am part of a club

  16. Antar Howarth on April 23, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Great explainer but the A1, A2, A3 categorisation wasn’t very clear.

  17. GrowYour OwnFood on April 23, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    Hey don’t know if you can help with this one but I am in Portugal and the local police just flew a drone over my property, hovering for several minutes at upper window level of my house. They then flew it over our heads. No prior notice was given. Is this legal?

  18. nokiaman2002 on April 23, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Great video and easily explained. Good work.

  19. Meriwether on April 23, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    Excellent vid, nothing more to add on legal analysis.

    To add to sub-250g drone recommendations, the following are alternatives to the DJI Mini / MiniSE / Mini2:
    [] Hubsan Zino Mini Pro – not a very polished piece of kit (yet), but does feature industry leading flight time. Also features obstacle avoidance sensors. NOTE: Undercarriage guard MUST be removed to bring the aircraft under 250g. CAUTION: Do not hand-land after flight, it gets VERY hot.
    [] FIMI X8 Mini – capable all-rounder. Again lacks a bit of polish, but a good alternative and an excellent value proposition for people looking for non-DJI aircraft.
    [] **Commentors Choice** Autel Evo Nano+: Competes with, and beats DJI’s Mini2 in all areas except flight time (2 minutes less on average). Less of a value proposition (high price) but arguably the "best" sub-250g about to hit the market in terms of offered features.

  20. ThePeteW on April 23, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Do any of the new drones have altimeters (referring to the bit at about 2.10 talking about the rules on how high you can fly)? My Mavic Pro 2 certainly doesn’t have one. I’d actually be surprised if any do to be honest. My craft only has the height differential from take off position which is helpful but doesn’t give the altitude above ground.

  21. Southern Comfort UK on April 23, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Excellent information- thank you so much for all the clarification.

  22. MrPureModz on April 23, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    I assume when you mention about flying over businesses and corporate companies that would apply to police stations?

  23. MilesBellas on April 23, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    What a paranoid, petty, overly bureaucratic nightmare the UK is escalating into.
    China is not a paradigm to be blindly emulated, exploiting social apathy and distraction.

  24. Chris O'Grady on April 23, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    A3 being so strict, basically you can’t fly it anywhere, and most existing drones will come under this classification. People are just going to break these rules and it will be more dangerous overallm this is analogous to making the motorway speed limits 30mph, people will still drive at 80 and now there’s a way bigger closing soeed between vehicles meaning more danger than everyone doing 70-80

  25. Michael Inkster on April 23, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    What’s your understanding of what distance might constitute “immediately above” in the context of flying a drone over someone else’s land? Would below head height be a sensible interpretation and is there any case law on this either in Scotland or England that you are aware of?

  26. Sean Herd-Hoare on April 23, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    Hi, great video thank you! If a company wants to start using drones to conduct environmental surveys, what steps do they need to take? And does the company need to get a license on top of the drone pilot/operator Flyer ID?

  27. P S on April 23, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    Not found second drone blog yet.
    How will this legislation effect drone fishing, where the line is taken out and dropped by drone, which then returns to the owner, enabling the cast to be far more than hand casting. This is on a beach, probably with other people near, will this therefore require the highest level of licensing?

  28. b9y on April 23, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    Question: When the laws change, this means for some drones the laws will become more restrictive. In your legal opinion, is this grounds for suing anyone? Or getting around it somehow? I.e, you’ve bought something successfully, and safely, for a number of years and suddenly it’s become illegal to do so. I mean that completely erodes all logic.

    These restrictions are going to be a fucking ballache for SO many people. I feel like it’s going to cause a lot of issues.

  29. ArcticNick on April 23, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    I watched the drone light display you recommended Daniel and am stunned!

  30. David’s Happiness Recipe on April 23, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    Got my first drone, NJI Air 2s .. Going to try to get some.nice footage.

  31. breakablec on April 23, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    So does this mean any AI piloted drones or any delivery drones are effectively banned in UK?

  32. maurice bizeray on April 23, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    What are the police powers in relation to drones, under 250gm. Can they demand you land, show operator registration, seize the drone and demand name and address. Even if you have not committed any offence. Do they need a warrant. What law gives them the powers to do any of these actions.

  33. Baz on April 23, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Question.. What rights do you have if any, to retrieve a drone that you have been forced to land /crashed on private property?

  34. Andrew Hill Phots & Videos on April 23, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    I do love your VLOGS they are much appreciated

  35. ak bunny on April 23, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Great explanation, thank you….!

  36. Lee Holden on April 23, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Funny this came up on my feed just as we’ve started getting a person over the age of 20 flying a drone at the back of our house. The area he’s flying it is in a cul-de-sac so houses are pretty close. He arrives at night but the drone is lit up like a Christmas tree and I’m beginning to think he’s recording to see who is in or out of the properties. Would dialling 112 be worth while or wait until someone in the area breaks in to a property? fyi there’s a small park just 200 yards away where he could fly it but instead chooses to fly it close to neighbors houses

  37. UNCivil Aviation Authority Official Trailer on April 23, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Great stuff – could you have a look at our campaign to get the CAA to provide due process, a fair trial and human rights as they should ? see our channel – thank you

  38. Ash Thomas Films on April 23, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    I flew my drone around (no over) a building which caught fire the day before. The road and area was still closed off and police were present. (Video on my channel).
    2 days later I had the police knocking on my door who took my drone for investigation saying I was not allowed to fly over a crime scene. And can end up with 5 years in prison… oops.
    I didn’t realise this was classed as a crime scene and neither did I fly over it.
    Apparently I need to go to the police station for an interview at a later date.
    Is this really allowed? 🤷‍♂️

  39. Learning Piano at 61 on April 23, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    5:00 There’s a ghost in your house!

  40. Dave Gardner on April 23, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Extremely helpful, can’t wait for part 2

  41. Ian Smith on April 23, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    I have a DJI Mini 2, sub 250g it is a very capable and reiliable platform. I have a flyer and operator ID and I use it for recreational mainly scenery collecting on days out. Sadly being 2022 and the fact that some people seem to think they have a GOd given right to object to anything they do not understand or agree with usally approach armed with mobile phones and try and tell me I cannot fly that thing here!!! When actually I can and will having already assessed and made sure I am allowed to. It is very annoying but best action is to just be polite and try to carry on regardless.
    Good video as always.

  42. deaniweenie on April 23, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    4:08 No it won’t – This statement is very misleading. Answering 40 questions (some of which are very obscure as far as drones are concerned) does not give you the necessary training in drone flight safety.

  43. Lindsay Heyes on April 23, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Follow-up from a fellow flyer…

    A large country estate in England is open to the public and has appropriate drone flight safety zones in place, permanently mapped as yellow polygons on the NATS Drone Assist app, with the usual rubric to warn flyers of potential concentrations of people and possible privacy. Broadly, the zones correspond with the estate’s car park and beach. There are no signs or notifications on the estate website denying permission to launch or control a drone.

    The manager contracts a mobile menagery with performing animals as an additional attraction for a peak weekend. During the display, a drone flight zone appears on the Drone Assist map, marked as the usual purple circle but the usual rubric is absent but for a pair of closed brackets, thus "[]". The zone is centred in the yellow safety zone. The menagery is operating several hundred metres away in the same yellow zone.

    The purple drone flight zone circle covers both yellow zones, including an area which is fenced off for safety due to a landslip, and a great deal of neighbouring land which is not in the yellow zones but is part of the estate.

    Given that a drone flight notification and appropriate safety zones are in place, and that there are no other restrictions to drone flight displayed, can a Flyer assume that it is legal to launch, control and land a flight outside the yellow zones; and safe to fly over the landslip enclosure which is inside a yellow safety zone, but where it can be seen that there are no people?

  44. Tom Nelson on April 23, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    What if im flying at less than 400ft & an helicopter comes ? What do i do as we all know its not so easy bringing a drone down at speed, also, iv seen your mrs in her towel 💁‍♂️😂

  45. Denaco Denaco on April 23, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    this registration is why i stopped flying fpv gliders with goggles. i liked cloud surfing with a HD camera attached also for footage. you can imagine how high i was going and how many miles away. even the frequency i used wasn’t legal but had to use it to get so high.

  46. Joe's Model Kits on April 23, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Hi there I was just wondering if my homemade foam-board planes (single engine with wings and a tail) that do weigh more than 250 grammes, would be classed as a drone even though it is not really a drone at all????? I would be so grateful if you could please answer this in your next video please???
    Take care and stay safe,

  47. R20966 on April 23, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Out of interest are there currently any rules on the blood alcohol content for flying a drone? Brings up some amusing thoughts is all.

  48. Andrew Hill Phots & Videos on April 23, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    yes but if you get up at 5 oclock in the morning you could fly safe…

  49. Wes Baynham on April 23, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Brilliant video condensing the minefield of contradicting and confusing information into a very clear and concise explanation. Thanks.

  50. Effer Vescence on April 23, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Great info but sadly I find myself in a commercially grey area where the CAA were telling us we don’t need an operator or flyer ID but also can’t get insurance when we do get told you need a license. Specifically using a Mavic Air to inspect chimneys and boiler flues at roof level – rather than paying out for scaffolding to inspect the integrity of them as per requirements present in the gas regulations.
    What was once seen as a cost saving and intelligent investment for the continued safety of peoples has now become a red tape ball ache as scaffolding can be cost prohibitive and if it has to be placed on public footpaths a nightmare to get permissions. This makes me feel like they’re cheery picking which regulations are more important and who’s safety is more important. This also makes me wonder just how many flyer and op ID’s we need for one drone that’s passed between multiple engineers and how much is this going to cost to invest in.

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