How To Report A Drone Flying Uk

How To Report A Drone Flying Uk

In recent years, drones have become increasingly popular, both for recreational and commercial use.

However, not all drone operators follow the rules, and you may find yourself wondering who to call when you see a drone flying dangerously or invading your privacy.

Whether it’s soaring too high, hovering too close to an airport, or zipping over your backyard, it’s important to know how to report such incidents correctly in the UK.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the process of reporting a drone in the UK. You’ll learn who to contact, whether it’s dialling the non-emergency police number – 101 – or reaching out to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) online.

uk drone police 1

How To Report A Drone In UK

To report a drone flying dangerously or suspiciously in the UK, call the non-emergency police number, 101, and provide as much detail as possible about the drone and its behavior. If you suspect the drone is infringing controlled or restricted airspace, report it using the form provided on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website. It’s important to report any drone activity that you believe is dangerous, potentially illegal, or poses a risk to public safety or privacy.

We’ll also help you understand what specific details you need to provide when reporting a drone and what kind of infringements the CAA investigates.

In addition, you’ll get a glimpse of the rising number of drone incidents reported in the UK. So, let’s dive in and equip you with the know-how to deal with rogue drones.

uk drone police 2

Reasons To report drone sightings UK

There’s a range of reasons why folks in the UK might feel the need to report a drone sighting, from suspicious activity around schools to endangering commercial airliners, or even causing a row between neighbors.

For instance, the government has urged schools to report drone sightings due to an increase in suspicious drone activity. These unmanned flying machines hovering around educational settings can raise serious privacy concerns for both students and staff, not to mention the potential for illegal activities.

Another major concern is airspace safety, particularly when drones fly near airports. These incidents pose a significant risk to aircraft and passengers. If a drone comes into contact with a plane, the results could be catastrophic.

It’s not just the big airliners that are at risk either – low-flying drones can also be a nuisance to individuals, buzzing around at head height or invading the tranquility of a public place.

Drones can also cause issues on a more local level, leading to fights between neighbors. Imagine trying to enjoy a peaceful afternoon in your garden, only to have a drone buzzing overhead, possibly even filming you. That’s a privacy violation and a noise nuisance rolled into one.

And speaking of noise, the incessant hum of a drone can really grate on the nerves, especially if it’s being flown irresponsibly. So, if you’re experiencing any of these issues, don’t hesitate to report the drone sighting to the appropriate authorities.

HOW TO report drones to police uk

How do to report a drone flying in the UK

If you spot an unmanned aircraft behaving suspiciously or breaching aviation rules, don’t worry, there are straightforward steps you can take to make the authorities aware.

First and foremost, call the non-emergency police number, 101, to report the drone. Provide as much detail as possible, such as the drone’s registration, if visible (for UK aircraft, this usually starts with G- followed by four letters). If you can identify the pilot and feel comfortable doing so, you can approach them once the drone has landed to discuss your concerns.

However, if you can’t see the pilot or don’t want to approach them, the police are your best point of contact.

Here are the steps you should take if you witness a drone flying dangerously:

Remember, penalties for illegal drone flying can be severe, including fines or even jail time. So it’s important that dangerous or suspicious drone activity is reported to keep our skies safe.

If you’re concerned about a drone flying over your property, don’t feel powerless. It’s your right to report a drone that’s causing a nuisance or invading your privacy. By following the steps above, you’re helping to ensure that drones are used responsibly and within the law. And remember, you’re not alone – in 2018, police forces in the UK received more than 2,400 reports of incidents involving drones. Your report could be the one that helps prevent a serious accident in the future.

uk drone police

Which UK authority To Report A Drone To:

In the realm of unmanned aircrafts, specific authorities in Britain take the lead in handling any concerns or violations, depending on the nature of the issue.

Police On 101

If you notice a drone being flown in a dangerous manner, such as soaring higher than 400ft or perilously close to an airport, the appropriate UK authority to contact is the police. Use their non-emergency number, 101, to report your concerns.

It’s important in the reporting process to provide as much detail as possible, as this can aid the police in their investigation and enforcement of drone regulations.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

For a suspected infringement of controlled or restricted airspace by a drone, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the UK authority to alert. They have a dedicated form on their website where you can report your suspicions. This streamlined reporting process is designed to make it easy for citizens like you to report any drone-related issues that may pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the UK’s airspace.

The CAA is also the authority to report more complex aviation-related issues to. These might include instances where an aircraft is flying without the correct approvals, companies or individuals are charging for flights without the correct certificates, pilots are flying without the correct licenses, or engineers are undertaking unapproved work.

Reporting such violations helps maintain the high standards of safety and professionalism that characterise the UK’s aviation industry.

So, if you spot a drone and suspect it’s not adhering to the proper regulations, don’t hesitate to report it. Your vigilance helps keep the skies safe for everyone.

police with drone uk

How To report a drone To 101 police

When you spot an unmanned aircraft behaving suspiciously or dangerously, you’re not powerless – just dial 101, the non-emergency police number, and furnish them with every detail you can recall.

Reporting a drone isn’t just about venting your frustrations or concerns; it’s a civic duty that helps keep our skies and privacy safe. It’s important to understand how to handle dangerous drone flying properly, ensuring your report is as effective and helpful as possible.

key details To provide when reporting a drone:

  • The drone’s location, preferably with landmarks or specific areas where it’s flying.
  • The time and date you observed the drone.
  • A description of the drone, like its size, colour, and any distinguishing features.
  • The drone’s registration number, if visible (UK aircraft usually have a G- followed by four letters).
  • Any observed dangerous or suspicious behaviour, such as flying higher than 400ft, close to an airport, or infringing controlled or restricted airspace.

Remember, drones near airports pose a significant risk to aviation safety, so if you spot a drone in such areas, don’t hesitate to report it. Also, privacy concerns with drone flying are valid and should be reported. If possible, provide information about the drone operator, such as their appearance, location, or any vehicle they may be using. Every piece of information helps in assessing the situation and taking the appropriate action.

It’s crucial to remember that reporting any drone activity that you believe is dangerous, potentially illegal, or poses a risk to public safety or privacy is not just encouraged, it’s vital.

You’re doing your part to ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of drone technology while maintaining safety and respect for privacy.

So, the next time you see a drone flying suspiciously or in a restricted area, remember – you have the power to make a difference with a simple phone call to 101.

can you fly a drone over a house USA 3 1

How To Report A Drone To Civil Aviation Authority

You’ve got the power to act if you see something suspicious in our skies, like a contraption infringing controlled airspace or an aircraft soaring without the right approvals. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the body that investigates such concerns in the UK. All you need to do is visit their website and fill out the form provided for reporting potential breaches of aviation law.

It’s important to report these incidents to protect the integrity of the UK’s airspace and maintain public safety.

reasons to report drone sightings:

Reasons for Reporting Drone SightingsPrivacy Concerns Regarding DronesImpact of Drone Incidents on Public Safety
Infringement of controlled or restricted airspaceDrones capturing images or videos without consentPotential for accidents, especially near airports
Aircraft flying without the correct approvalsInvasion of personal privacyRisk of injury to people on the ground
Charging for flights without the correct certificatesUnwanted surveillanceInterference with emergency services
Pilots flying without the correct licensesPotential for stalking or harassmentDisruption of wildlife
Engineers undertaking unapproved workUnauthorized data collectionPotential for criminal activity

After you’ve submitted the form, the CAA will evaluate your report. They may conduct a full investigation if the evidence you’ve provided indicates a breach of aviation law. Don’t worry if you don’t hear back immediately—due to the high volume of reports, their response may take longer than the usual 20 working days.

But rest assured, every report is taken seriously and contributes to the safety and integrity of UK airspace.

It’s crucial that we all do our part to ensure that the skies remain safe for everyone.

Best DJI Drones For Beginners UK 2023

How To identify a drone that is breaking the law

Spotting a rogue quadcopter zipping above the rooftops might seem tricky, but there’s a set of rules and regulations that can help you determine if it’s actually flouting the law. These are some of the drone identification methods you can use:

  • Check if the operator is at least 12 years old, as that’s the minimum age for independent flying in the UK.
  • The drone should also be within the line of sight of its operator at all times.
  • Be aware that drones are not allowed to fly above 400 feet (120 meters).
  • If you see a drone flying near an airport, it’s likely breaking the law as drones must not be operated within a 5-kilometer radius of these areas.

Legal consequences for drone law violations in the UK can be severe. For instance, drones that are equipped with cameras require an Operator ID from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). So, if a drone is capturing images or video without this ID, it’s breaking the law.

Drones weighing 250 grams or more must also maintain at least 150 meters distance from parks, industrial areas, residential zones, and other built-up locations. Drones below 250 grams, on the other hand, are permitted to fly closer and over people. If you see a drone violating these distances, it’s another sign of unlawful activity.

When it comes to reporting procedures for drone sightings, you’re encouraged to provide as much information as possible. Details such as the drone’s location, appearance, and any observed dangerous or suspicious behavior are crucial. If you believe the drone is infringing controlled or restricted airspace, report it using the form on the CAA’s website. In other cases, like potential privacy violations or dangerous flying, you should call the non-emergency police number, 101.

Remember, responsible drone use is key to ensuring the safety and privacy of all, and your vigilance can make a significant difference.

Drone Road Survey Service

Examples of Drones Reported In The UK

Transitioning from identifying a drone that’s breaking the law, let’s delve into some real-life examples of drone incidents reported in the UK.

The frequency trends show a concerning rise in drone-related incidents, with a staggering 352% increase in reports made to the police from 2014 to 2015. Just three years later, in 2018, over 2,400 instances involving drones were reported to the UK police, highlighting a surge in the misuse of this technology.

Drone incidents have a wide-ranging impact, causing more than just an inconvenience.

Examples of the serious risks associated with dangerous drone flying:

The rise in drone usage has also escalated privacy concerns. Individuals have reported drones filming them in compromising positions or invading their personal space. For instance, there have been reports of drones filming people while they were naked, or hovering over a Funland playground, raising concerns about the use of camera drones near children.

If you happen to experience such an invasion of privacy, remember to report the incident to the police by dialing the non-emergency number, 101.

As we can see, drones, while offering many benefits, can also be misused, leading to serious consequences. Understanding these real-life instances of drone misuse helps us to be more vigilant and equipped to report any suspicious drone activities we might encounter.

Remember, it’s not just about protecting our own privacy and security, but also about contributing to the safety and well-being of our communities.

Precautions Drone Rain Flight

Frequently Asked Questions


In conclusion, knowing how to report a drone flying unsafely in the UK is crucial.

By dialling 101 for non-emergency police or contacting the Civil Aviation Authority, you can play your part in maintaining safety in our skies.

Remember, it’s not just about spotting a drone. It’s about identifying when it’s breaking the law.

Now equipped with this knowledge, you’re ready to handle any rogue drones that may cross your path!

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *