Drone / Unmanned Aircraft Flying


The use of drones is a very rapidly developing part of the aviation scene, and we’re very keen to work with owners /operators to promote their safe use, both in the vicinity of City Airport in and in general.

the Civil Aviation Authority are the regulator responsible for civilian aviation in the UK,  as well as manned aircraft this extends to unmanned aircraft of all sizes. They provide guidance on the operation of drones on their website.

As part of the CAA’s ‘Drone Code’, pilots should “always keep drones away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields” – City Airport has an ‘Aerodrome Traffic Zone’ (ATZ), – an area of regulated airspace of 2 nautical miles radius around the airfield, designed to provide protection to aircraft landing and departing from us, (see map below)

ATZ 2nm

Whilst the CAA advise is that drones should not be operated above 400ft away from airfields, both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft can be expected below that height within the ATZ as they land or depart from us . A collision between a drone and a either a light aircraft or helicopter would present a significant risk to the safety of those on board the aircraft and those on the ground, therefore unless specifically arranged via our Air Traffic unit,  owners of drones should not fly at any height within this area.

We would encourage all drone operators to download the free ‘Drone Assist’ app from NATS for iOS and Android  to assist them in flying legally and safely.


If you have a specific requirement to operate a drone in this area (for instance commercial filming), please contact us giving as much notice as possible so we can consider your requirements and, where possible, work with you to ensure your flight can be achieved safely.

Drone operators should also bear in mind the close proximity of Manchester Airport – please see their website for more details







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