As some of you will be aware, the Parish Council took the decision at a recent meeting to ban the flying of drones in the Parish recreation area. The reason for doing this was based on a concern for public safety, and guidance from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA provide guidance regarding the operation of drones. The guidance can be found here: https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code/where-you-can-fly The guidance from the CAA Is that ‘If you’re flying a drone or model aircraft that’s lighter than 250g or is C0 class, you can fly closer to people than 50m and you can fly over them.’ However, the guidance goes on to say that ‘When you’re thinking about how close you can fly, remember, you must never put people in danger. Even small drones and model aircraft could injure people if you don’t fly them safely.’

For any size and category of drone the CAA guidance is that you should ‘Never fly over people who are crowded together’. The CAA are quite clear that you should ‘Never do this, no matter what size of drone or model aircraft you have.’ One of the examples that the CAA give for areas where people might be crowded together are ‘parks’ (i.e. recreation areas). The Oxford English Dictionary defines a ‘park’ as ‘A large public garden or area of land used for recreation’. Hence, it would be the opinion of the Parish Council that the Parish recreation ground is a ‘park’ where people might reasonably be expected to crowd together for recreation purposes (football, cricket, use of playground, dog walking etc.). Therefore, as per the CAA guidance, the Parish Council hold that it would not be appropriate for drones to be flown in that area.

If any Parishioners have questions or comments about this decision then please do write to the Parish council and, if applicable, we will be happy to discuss it at a future meeting.

Anthony Harris
Vice-Chair
Shaw-cum-Donnington Parish Council

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