General Guidance for the use of Drones within Snowdonia
From November 30, 2019 drone operators will have to register their device with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and take an online safety test. Anyone who fails to register or sit the competency tests could face fines of up to £1000.
Remember you are responsible for flying your drone in a safe manner.
Using Drones for Non-commercial Purposes
The more popular smaller drones used for leisure or non-commercial filming (under 20kg generally) do not need to be licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). However, there are principle rules outlined by the CAA to which all users must adhere (see below).
In terms of outdoor use, many organised or charitable events are using drones on a more regular basis and it is important that operators should be aware of their legal responsibilities.
Care and attention is required when operating drones in the mountains due to the high number of walkers. In terms of Snowdon, all the access routes (which are all Public Rights of Way) to and from the summit are geographically very narrow linear corridors with high numbers of walkers. The summit area in particular can become congested especially during the summer months. More than one drone flying around within close proximity of another may give rise to serious concern in terms of public safety.
Please bear in mind that there may also be other aircraft in the area at low level such as search and rescue helicopters or those used for military training purposes. Operators and organisers should therefore think carefully when operating drones and their potential for causing serious injury and your subsequent potential liabilities.
Using Drones for Commercial Purposes
Commercial users, whether using under 20kg or over 20kg drones, should have a formal UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) qualification accredited by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and operators must have the relevant permission from the landowner.
You will also need Public Liability Insurance and Aviation Insurance Liability cover. Where necessary, evidence of these documents should be provided. Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) kindly asks all organisers to discuss their activities with relevant Authority staff beforehand to avoid any difficulties.
Operating commercial drones on NPA property such as the Snowdon summit or other SNPA owned areas such as car parks will require permission and licensing. This can be arranged through the SNPA Property Section at the National Park Office in Penrhyndeudraeth.
Principle Rules for using Drones in Snowdonia
- The aircraft should not endanger anyone or anything.
- The operator must keep the aircraft within line of sight (500m horizontally and 120m vertically.
- The aircraft must not be over or within 150m of a `congested area` I.e. a residential area, any commercial or recreational areas.
- The aircraft must not fly over or be within a distance of 150m from an organised open-air assembly (i.e. event).
- The aircraft should not be within 50m of any vessel or structure.
- The aircraft should not be within 30m of any person except during take-off and landing.
- Owners and operators should have, where necessary, the relevant licensing requirements.
- Operators should pay heed to any requirements under the Data Protection Act for the collection, use, dissemination and storage of any images/film.
Operators should also note that when drones are being operated in the countryside, they should not disturb other recreational users quiet enjoyment of the countryside and neither should they hinder or harass livestock, wild animals (including birds) other domestic animals or pets. Such activities may fall under other legislation and may result in prosecution.
For general advice: Access Officer, Peter.Rutherford@snowdonia.gov.wales - 01766 772258 – 07900 267538
For licensing: Property Officer: Edward.Jones@snowdonia.gov.wales 01766 772266 – 07900 267530
Or visit: CAA - www.caa.co.uk/licences/
Please Note: The National Trust do not permit the use of drones over any of their property such as the Ogwen Valley, Carneddau & Glyderau (including Tryfan).