Drone Flights - Rules and Restrictions

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The flying of drones is not permitted within fifty metres of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.  For a map of the no-fly zone please download the PDF at the bottom of this page. For more information please contact Trish Johnson, Bridgemaster by emailing bridgemaster@cliftonbridge.org.uk.

Please be aware that use of drones without following the following guidelines could lead to prosecution.

Drone Flights
If you are planning to fly your drone over or near the bridge, you should be aware that the Civil Aviation Authority Air Navigation Order articles 166 & 167 state the distances at which small unmanned aircraft may be operated. These are:

  • Not within 150 metres of any ‘congested area’ of any town, city or settlement (defined as “any area which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes”)
  • Not within 50 metres of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the aircraft operator.
  • Article 95 of the ANO states that, if you wish to fly your camera fitted drone any closer than this, then you will need to obtain a permission from the CAA in order to do so legally.

Additionally, the Civil Aviation Authority regulations for flying drones state that:

  • you are responsible for flying your drone in a safe manner
  • you must keep the drone in your direct sight at all times while it is flying, so that you can ensure that it does not collide with anything, especially other aircraft
  • you must not endanger anyone, or any thing with your drone, including any articles that you drop from it
  • if your drone weighs more than 7kg, additional rules apply if you fly in certain types of airspace and you must not fly above 400ft above the surface.


Take off and Landing
You will also require the express permission of the landowner or relevant authority from where you wish to take off and land.

If you wish to film from a drone in a park you will need to apply for a park permit from the Bristol Film Office via Eventapp. This usually costs £50 & will enable you to legitimately control a 50 metre radius where you wish to use the drone.

If you wish to film from a drone on a street or road, you will need to apply for a full road closure from the relevant Local Authority or the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust, and a filming permit – available from Bristol Film Office.


If your drone is fitted with a camera, there are also a number of additional limitations surrounding where you can fly it, and how close you can fly it to other uninvolved people or objects. In order to be able to fly within these areas, or closer than the minimum distances that are in the regulations, you must obtain prior permission from the CAA to do so.   

Additionally, if you wish to film a planned event from a drone, you will need to seek the express permission of the event holder.

If you are filming for commercial purposes, you will need to be a CAA Approved Commercial Operator, hold a Permission Document and to be registered on their website.

Please visit the Bristol Film Office website for further information.


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