Filming with Drones

Trafford Council is receiving an increasing number of enquiries about filming with drones. To help with requests, we have produced these guidelines. 

Drones and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) cannot take off or land on council land without permission from Trafford Council.

Permission will generally only be granted, where usage of a drone aids risk reduction in the work place such as working at height, land and building survey work and or undertaking a professional service such as at festivals and events or if the filming can be supported in line with the Council’s film friendly policy. 

Airports and airfield drone restriction zones

Flight restriction zones of 5km from Manchester Airport and City Airport (Manchester Barton) impact on areas of Trafford. A map showing airfield restrictions can be found at: It is illegal to fly any drone at any time within these restricted zones unless you have permission from air traffic control at the airport or, if air traffic control is not operational, from the airport itself.

Sites in Trafford in Council ownership within the restriction zone include but are not limited to:

Grove Lane Playing Fields, Hale
Halecroft Park, Hale Barns
Wellfield Lane Park, Timperley

Abbotsfield Park, Urmston
Davyhulme Park
Flixton Park
Golden Hill Park, Urmston
Stretford Meadows
Urmston Meadows
Woodsend Playing Fields

Non-professional use

The Council will generally not grant permission to private individuals to take off or land their drone on Council land and recommend you review the drone guidance on the Government’s website:  You should ensure any images you obtain using your drone do not break privacy laws and you must not fly your drone within 50m of a person, vehicle or building not under your control. We would draw your attention in particular to the following paragraph:

 “If you are using a drone for personal use then you are governed by the Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) Air Navigation Order 2016, specifically Article 241 (endangering the safety of any person or property), Article 94 (small unmanned aircraft ) and Article 95 (small unmanned surveillance aircraft). This is the law and you can, and individuals have been, prosecuted for breaking it. The new Drone Code is available to download at along with a useful Drone Assist App created by the CAA and air traffic control body National Air Traffic Service (NATS) to help individuals understand their responsibilities”.

How to request Permission

If you are a commercial operator and would like permission for a drone to take off or land on our property or the public highway for filming purposes you will need to complete a filming application.

Alongside the application you will need to provide:

1. A Copy of your CAA Licence

2. A copy of your public liability insurance (minimum £5 million)

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

3. A copy of your risk assessment

Your risk assessment should show how you will comply with the terms of your CAA licence:

 “ the small unmanned aircraft shall not be flown:

(a) Other than by persons employed by or contracted to the licensed company whilst being holder(s) of an appropriate recommendation issued by a UK National Qualified Entity for remote pilot competency, or an alternative existing aviation qualification determined to be acceptable to the CAA (CAP722 refers);

(b) Unless there is insurance cover for the small unmanned aircraft that meets the requirements of EC Regulation No. 785/2004;

(c) Unless the small unmanned aircraft is maintained within the direct, unaided Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) of the remote pilot, or a competent observer under the control of the remote pilot who is operating in accordance with procedures specified in the approved Operations Manual, out to a maximum range of 500 metres unless a lesser control link radio range has been specified by the manufacturer;

(d) At a height exceeding 400 feet above the surface, unless permitted to do so under article 94B of the Order;

(e) Within the flight restriction zone (see Note 2) of a protected aerodrome, unless in compliance with the requirements stated in article 94B of the Order. In addition, if the small unmanned aircraft has a mass of more than 7kg whilst airborne, it shall not be flown:

(i) in Class D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained (see Note 3); or

(ii) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic

control unit has been obtained.

(f) Over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;

(g) Within 50 metres of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure that is not under the control of the SUA operator or the remote pilot, except that during take-off and landing this distance may be reduced to 30 metres;

(h) Unless it is equipped with a mechanism that will cause the small unmanned aircraft to land in the event of disruption to or a failure of any of its control systems, including the radio link, and the remote pilot has ensured that such mechanism is in working order before the aircraft commences its flight;

(i) Unless the remote pilot is reasonably satisfied that any load carried by the small unmanned aircraft is properly secured, that the aircraft is in a safe condition for the specific flight, and that the flight can safely be made taking into account the wind and other significant weather conditions;”

Decision making:

      • We normally require a minimum of seven days’ notice to consult with key stakeholders. 
      • Our decision will take into consideration any disturbance, annoyance, harassment or distress which may be caused to site occupants/users during take-off, landing and on the flight path of the drone.
        • It is unlikely that applications which include flight paths over sites of important biological interest will be approved during the main bird breeding season of 1 March to 31st July as UAV’s can appear as predators.


Depending on the nature of your request you may be required to pay an administration fee and/or a location fee. 

For further information on the commercial use of drones please visit the CAA web site: