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Flying in London - help me understand the zones

I have (finally!) received the following from the CAA's "UAV Enquiries" email address. Good enough for me - as I'm only flying sub-250g I think the initial statement, combined with the statement in parentheses at the end of the first paragraph gives me everything I need.
So can you fly in the enhanced warning zones of London with a mini 2?
 
I have (finally!) received the following from the CAA's "UAV Enquiries" email address. Good enough for me - as I'm only flying sub-250g I think the initial statement, combined with the statement in parentheses at the end of the first paragraph gives me everything I need.
So can we fly a mini 2 in the enhanced warning zone in London
 
Since posting this, I tried to take off in the Shoreditch area, where I had done previously (in April 2022), in an area outside of the City of London restricted area and away from railway lines in the area. It's a DJI restricted area now!

I got home, looked at the Geozone map and DJI have taken it upon themselves to add most of London into a made up zone called London NFZ. I overlaid their geozone map over the one from Altitude Angel and marked the expanded areas in Green (left the south west corner out as it's restricted for Battersea Heliport). So now it seems it's necessary to unlock large swathes of London that actually have no legal restrictions on take off or flight.

On top of that, DJI don't appear to restrict take off on the Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf), which is restricted IRL and I've already had problems with their City of London Airport zone being much wider than the actual one.

Flying in London is already complicated enough, with so many railways and airports and restricted areas, without DJI making it even harder. Do they not want to sell drones to people in the capital?
 

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I tried very near to the Battersea Heliport and the drone just sat there and did nothing. No warning signs or anything . When I looked I realised I had not checked the restrictions . Silly because I was very very near . Taking a shot near clapham common in SW london I did get the warning about zones I just pressed OK OK and I was able to take off with no problem. Quite what I was infringing near Clapham Common I do not know. Then again I take a lot of shots some 8 miles from Gatwick Airport and I get the in zone warning every time. DJI I think os erring on the extreme side this way they can not be held to blame for any infringing of the rules.
 
Was that recently? It's just that DJI didn't seem to have that one on their map, but I could see it on other apps, so never bothered. But now they've created their own London NFZ, a lot of it is covered in that. I don't know when they changed it, as I don't fly in central London very much, but I was definitely able to fly in April last year.

I just went to Barking today to take some photos of a large gas holder. The best place for takeoff was slightly in DJI's zone for City Airport, but outside any official zone, so I'd unlocked it several months ago. When I got there, I couldn't take off, as it said I was in a restircted zone and having the DJI remote (with no data connection), I had to faff around creating a hotspot on my phone to try and do another application. I also emailed DJI, who relied quickly. They suggested logging out and back in again, which did nothing, but then I noticed a sliding button when I went into the unlocking licence and I had to use that and accept some more responsibility.

So I was able to take off, but then got in a panic as I approached the gas holder for an overhead view and the app started going on about entering a restricted area. Worrying that I might not be able to get it back, I decided to bring it in. No idea what was going on there, as I'm fairly sure I was still inside the polygon I'd created, and if I strayed out, it wouldn't have been a restricted area.

It's hard work isn't it?
 
I took my Mini 3 Drone behind Waterloo Station about 500yards from Big Ben. Set it up and this is what I got., So Anywhere in Central London a DJI drone will not take off They just sit there!
 

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I'm pretty sure that spot is within the Hyde Park restriction, as well as DJI's new 'London NFZ'.

Very close to the edge mind you, as if you walked over Waterloo Road, it's outside the restriction.

But, of course, that would still be within DJI's London NFZ...
 
Even in the light yellow coloured
zones over London the drone will not start up.
 
Hi all! Newbie here (based in W11), just got myself a mini3 and thought I'd check out this forum for tips/help

Just scrolling through this and I'm kinda glad to see its not just me struggling to fully understand the restrictions in London. Cross referencing the different map type apps seem to make it more confusing, although flying in central london is pretty clear (a straight no lol).

Do you guys mostly just use the DJI Find Spot app for places to fly?
 
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Hi all! Newbie here (based in W11), just got myself a mini3 and thought I'd check out this forum for tips/help

Just scrolling through this and I'm kinda glad to see its not just me struggling to fully understand the restrictions in London. Cross referencing the different map type apps seem to make it more confusing, although flying in central london is pretty clear (a straight no lol).

Do you guys mostly just use the DJI Find Spot app for places to fly?
Hello using the DJI customised request section you can fly in London, to be safe DJI have blocked it all off which is not a bad thing. . When you are asked to upload your permission just enter blank. DJI will check the area and if safe they will OK it.
 
Hi all! Newbie here (based in W11), just got myself a mini3 and thought I'd check out this forum for tips/help

Just scrolling through this and I'm kinda glad to see its not just me struggling to fully understand the restrictions in London. Cross referencing the different map type apps seem to make it more confusing, although flying in central london is pretty clear (a straight no lol).

Do you guys mostly just use the DJI Find Spot app for places to fly?
I use the drone assist app. You should ignore the large zone covering most of London, EGR160 - The Specified Area, as that relates to actual helicopters.

Once you find your area is ok to fly in, you can then check the DJI geozone map to see if they will let you fly without any extra steps being required.

If DJI have added extra restrictions and you would otherwise be able to fly legally, you can unlock an area, for up to a year (I think). As stated above, upload a blank document in this case, to progress with the form and point out you don't need authorisation for an area without legal restrictions.
 
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I use the drone assist app. You should ignore the large zone covering most of London, EGR160 - The Specified Area, as that relates to actual helicopters.

Once you find your area is ok to fly in, you can then check the DJI geozone map to see if they will let you fly without any extra steps being required.

If DJI have added extra restrictions and you would otherwise be able to fly legally, you can unlock an area, for up to a year (I think). As stated above, upload a blank document in this case, to progress with the form and point out you don't need authorisation for an area without legal restrictions.
Thanks very much! I'll download that shortly

Looking at the other apps it looks like I'm pretty much right on the edge (just outside) of the DJI London no fly zone, so it would appear I'm 'OK'... DJI let me take off in my garden for a quick test flight the day I got it so I assume if I can do this there are no extra steps to follow
 
It depends how close you are to the edge. If it's quite close, I would personally unlock a much wider area around my garden.

Because there is always the chance that the border might shift a bit with GPS and you could find your garden is in the exclusion zone when you try to return the drone.

Like I said though, it depends how close you are.
 
Utilising the system laid out in this thread I was able to take this picture of London Bridge. The DJI zone method is just their interpretation but it does mean you can take central London pics. I did put a height of 50 metres on my requests if a higher height was requested I am not sure. If I try it I will report back .
 

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FYI It would seem that on the east side you cannot get permission from DJI any closer to the H of P than Waterloo Road Bridge .
 
FYI It would seem that on the east side you cannot get permission from DJI any closer to the H of P than Waterloo Road Bridge .

That's the restricted area known as EGR157 Hyde Park. You'd need authorisation for that one.

That overlaps with the heliport at Battersea, so the next place you can fly without needing permission on the south bank is just south of Hammersmith Bridge.
 
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A strange zone warning. Central Croydon warning said TA HQ nearby and gave a zone clearance dialogue with the usual OK Cancel tabs. The odd thing the drone fired up and took off but I did not continue as I was unsure if the subsequent pictiure would be defaced like the controller . Probably not but I did not proceed. Subsequently I easily obtained permission using the usual DJI zone permission app. A strange warning indeed.
 
Further to the unlocking of zones. I recently used the system on this thread to take a picture of a Croydon hall. All was well with no restriction dialogue appearing on the screen. Except that when reaching my designated height I could not go to the left or the right. Movement of the right stick effected no movement on the drone . It was like I was in a narrow beam unable to move except up or down the gimbal moved Ok but that was it. Later at home perusing the area that I had drawn in the programme it would seem that I was on the very outer edge of my drawn zone circle. It was possible that movement right or left was inhibited but forward certainly could have been OK . Due to other considerations like parking on double yellow lines I was unable to pursue the matter further and as I had what I wanted it did not matter. Hope this might help the general knowledge base it might just prove that the drone when it gets to the edge of the zone it will just stop and not throw a wobbly as it was. With the mini 4 imminent the next problem will be can I swap all my zone clearances for the 3 to the 4.
 

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Since posting this, I tried to take off in the Shoreditch area, where I had done previously (in April 2022), in an area outside of the City of London restricted area and away from railway lines in the area. It's a DJI restricted area now!

I got home, looked at the Geozone map and DJI have taken it upon themselves to add most of London into a made up zone called London NFZ. I overlaid their geozone map over the one from Altitude Angel and marked the expanded areas in Green (left the south west corner out as it's restricted for Battersea Heliport). So now it seems it's necessary to unlock large swathes of London that actually have no legal restrictions on take off or flight.

On top of that, DJI don't appear to restrict take off on the Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf), which is restricted IRL and I've already had problems with their City of London Airport zone being much wider than the actual one.

Flying in London is already complicated enough, with so many railways and airports and restricted areas, without DJI making it even harder. Do they not want to sell drones to people in the capital?

Looks like the 'London NFZ' has vanished.

I contacted DJI last night and got the to extend the unlock licence for the polygons I'd drawn last year.

But never had to use them and when I rechecked the map, the wider zone had gone.

Also looks like they've narrowed the City Airport exclusion zone, which was wider than the real one and extended into the Thames. So should be able to take off from the Thames Path by Greenwich Peninsula and get a shot of Canary Wharf without faffing with unnecessary licences.

Hooray!
 
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