District council set out new drone rules

A drone. Picture: Pxhere

A drone. Picture: Pxhere - Credit: Pxhere

Strict new rules around how drones can be used in East Devon have been outlined.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has created a new drone policy in response to an upsurge in public requests and the increasing frequency of drone usage in its open spaces.

The new policy says any drone may only be flown from and over land if the landowner has given written permission.

It also states that drones may not be flown from or above council land without first obtaining written permission from EDDC.

If any person is found to be using a drone device from district council land without a letter of permission, they will be instructed to stop immediately.

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From now on, to a fly a drone over council owned land you will need to provide:

- A description of the purpose of the flight

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- A copy of your public liability insurance certificate

- A copy of your flight plan including specified launch and landing points.

- A copy of the site assessment

- A copy of your permission for commercial operation (PfCO) document.

If permission is granted then the operator must also agree to:

- Make sure the area is safe at all times whilst using the drone.

- Ensure that they at all times comply with the current Civil Aviation Authority Air Navigation Order and the current drone code.

- Indemnify the council against any injury or damage caused.

- Have in place suitable secure arrangements for the handling of personal data captured.

Anyone wishing to undertake commercial photography, filming, or other drone activity, over council owned land, will have to pay £200 before final permission is granted.

Explaining why the policy is needed, a report to Thursday's overview committee says the close proximity of many open spaces to neighbouring residential and business properties means there is a potential risk of causing disturbance, annoyance or harassment to occupants and the users.

Lanterns will also be banned from being released on council owned land.

The overview committee will discuss the report and will be provided with an understanding of the drone policy following a request that they had made in 2019.

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