Use of drones

Drone Safety - It's your responsibility

Flying Drones is becoming an extremely popular hobby with these unmanned aircraft being one of the UK’s top gifts.

Do you have a drone or unmanned aircraft, and do you know all the rules regarding the flight of these unmanned aircraft in the UK?

In partnership with Police Scotland and South Ayrshire Council, we hope to highlight to members of the public the importance of following the Drone Safe Code. Read our article here

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who are responsible for regulating UK airspace and airports, have issued legal obligations to ensure everyone can operate safely.

Airport and Airfields

Drone flight restriction zones around airports and airfields has changed.5km restriction zone around Glasgow Prestwick Airport

There is a 5km restriction zone around Glasgow Prestwick Airport and all other airports and airfields in the UK. The use of drones near an airfield could endanger aircraft operations.

It is illegal to fly a drone within these restricted zones and operators may be subject to prosecution. To protect yourself and others, operators can safely fly their drones outside this restriction zone.

Registrations, Education and Labelling your drone

The CAA published a new Guidance Document – CAP 722: Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace on 5th November 2020. Operators are always advised to be compliance with this document.

The CAA have also created a Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme to support users with how to use them safely.

For more information please visit the CAA’s website.

Importantly, if you are a drone operator either for pleasure or commercial reasons you must label it with your ID. It is against the law to fly a drone without it being labelled.

Did you know that thousands of drones go missing each year? Therefore, not only having your operator ID clearly labelled on your drone ensures you are complaint, it could also help re-unite you with it should you every lose it.

More information on the re-uniting of drones visit the CAA’s drone re-united website.


Furthermore, to the above regulations there are some other rules that operators must comply with. The drone code has been put together by the CAA to keep everyone and the airspace safe.

Drone operators should follow the below Drone code;

Don’t fly near airports or airfields
Remember to stay below 400ft (120m)
Observe your drone at all times – Stay 150ft (approx. 50m) from people and property
Never fly near aircraft
Enjoy responsibly

Operators are responsible for the safe and legal compliance of each flight. By not following regulations set for yours and others safety, you could face prosecution.

For more information you can visit the Drone Safe website or download the Drone Assist app.



Glasgow Prestwick Airport support the safe and legal use of drone flights. Should you wish to operate a drone, including in the restricted zone, please initially contact Police Scotland on 101 who will issue you with a Police Incident Reference Number.

Operators must then contact Glasgow Prestwick’s Air Traffic Control Unit (ATC) confirming details and the incident number given from Police Scotland. We will then co-ordinate the drone flight alongside Air Traffic Operations. Enquiries should be sent to our ATC team by using our Contact form.

Permission will only be granted at the discretion of Police Scotland and/or ATC.

Report any concerns

Help us keep everyone and the airspace safe by reporting any concerns you may have with drones or unmanned aircraft being used close to Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

Reports should be made to Police Scotland by calling 101.

No Drone Zone’ signage has been placed in key area’s around South Ayrshire. If you are reporting drone misuse and are close to one of the signs please quote the unique reference number to Police Scotland.


Developed by NATS and the CAA – Drone Safe – is an excellent website will information on the safe use of drones.

Further information can also be found on the CAA website.