Are Drones and Other Aerial Devices Allowed at Events in London?

Learn about regulations regarding drone use at events held at event centres in London.

Are Drones and Other Aerial Devices Allowed at Events in London?

The utilization of drones and other aerial devices has become increasingly popular in the event and security industries, especially for outdoor events. With the emergence of drones in our society, both professional and recreational, comes new challenges and opportunities.


can be used to obtain aerial images to broadcast an event, ensure safety and operation of the event, or for more creative functions. However, there are restrictions on the use of drones or other aerial devices at events held at the event centre in London.

In order to fly a drone or aircraft model in London, a valid traveler ID is required. This includes a theoretical exam and a practical flight test performed in an RAE. Defense systems cannot just block the radio frequencies used to control drones or the GPS signals used by devices to navigate due to regulations. In relation to public safety, drones have been used for several years with different functions and, more recently, at major events to add an additional element of security.

If you are travelling to the UK and would like to fly your drone for recreational purposes in the “Open” category, you must be in possession of an operating authorization from the CAA. The A3 subcategory requires the pilot to be 150 m from residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas, so category A3 drones cannot operate in most areas of London in the open category and must follow the guidelines for the specific category. Operators using drones to film must ensure that they are familiar with aeronautical legislation and procedures related to aerial filming in London. In addition to restrictions on flights at locations related to the event, authorities have also deployed military technology to counter any uncontrolled drone action.

For example, you may be able to fly in an area that is normally restricted as long as you meet the conditions of the authorization. In particular, operators flying drones less than 30 meters from a road in London may need a permit from the road authority. Drones can also potentially be used by terrorism against events and that is why authorities and police are taking measures such as those indicated above to limit their use in mass and special events. It's no wonder that at one of the most important technological events, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Mossos d'Equadra used drone technology as support.

The success of a mysterious drone operator in closing Britain's second busiest airport for more than 36 hours has highlighted the vulnerability of others around the world to saboteurs armed with such cheap and easily accessible devices. In a sense, drones can end up replacing police helicopters to carry out these tasks and, in addition to being cheaper, they can even approach the areas to be controlled. Therefore, it is likely that in the near future we will see that security measures against the misuse of drones will become common practice in certain types of events, although solutions are still under continuous development. As such, it is important for event organizers and attendees alike to understand what regulations are in place regarding drone use at events held at event centres in London.

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