Can you fly your drone in Control Traffic Regions (CTRs) with you drone in the UK? The answer is yes!

What is a CTR?

CTRs are large areas around busy airports that will help the air traffic flow smoothly. It is a volume of airspace from the ground level to infinity that surround an airport.

Due to it applying to manned aircraft, you would not expect an aircraft to be below 150 meters and there for not in the same airspace as drone pilots who can legally fly up to 120meters above ground level.

You can see the CTR around Gatwick on the the right. All CTRs will have at least one Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) within it. Gatwick actually has two. You cannot fly in FRZs without permission

If you Download the NATS Drone Assist App and look at restricted areas to fly, it would appear that you need special permission, but this is not the case.

The fact that the CTRs are on the app and in red, make it look like these are restricted zones and this confuses a lot of people. The reason they are are the app are:

  • They areas of increased risk due t the airspace being busier, so it is useful to know
  • If you are flying under the Specific Category (a GVC qualification will be needed) and want to use your PDRA-02 you will need to know where they are. This will only apply to drone manufactures who are testing large drones
  • If flying commercially you may wish notify the airport out of courtesy that you will be flying within a CTR

For in depth information, you can watch the video below