Flying drones and model aircraft

Overview

You must have two IDs in place before flying most drones or model aircraft outdoors in the UK:

  • anyone who will fly must pass a theory test to get a flyer ID

  • the person or organisation that owns or is responsible for the drone or model aircraft must register for an operator ID

Most people get both a flyer ID and operator ID at the same time.

The flyer must have a flyer ID. The operator must have an operator ID.

The flyer ID shows you’ve passed a basic flying test and know how to fly safely and legally.

The operator ID is your registration number and must be must be labelled on your drone or model aircraft.

Warning It is against the law to fly a drone or model aircraft without having the required IDs. You can also be fined for breaking the law when flying. In the most serious cases, you could be sent to prison.

Toys and small drones and model aircraft

You do not need to register if the drones or model aircraft you’ll fly are certain toys, or a certain weight or class.

Take a look at the registration requirements for drones and model aircraft to find out if you need to register.

Children under 12 must be supervised

Children under 12 must be supervised by someone aged 16 or over when flying a drone or model aircraft.

Both the child and the person supervising them must have a flyer ID unless they’re only flying a toy or small drone and model aircraft.

Take a look at the registration requirements for drones and model aircraft to find out if you need to register.

Exceptions for C0 class toys and privately-built aircraft below 250g

Children under 12 do not need to be supervised when flying either:

  • a toy drone or model aircraft that is marked as C0 class
  • a privately-built drone or model aircraft below 250g

Drone and Model aircraft rules and regulations

The Drone and Model Aircraft Code gives guidance on flying safely and legally.

You must follow the rules and regulations whenever you go flying.

Organisations that use drones or model aircraft

Organisations that are responsible for drones or model aircraft must register their organisation for an operator ID.