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Working in Controlled Airspace

Many people are aware of the usefulness of drones in business and industry. However, many restrictions exist on where drones can be flown and used.

Airspace is divided up based on Classes; The most considerable controlled airspace in the country is, not surprisingly, in and around Dublin. Almost all of County Dublin is covered by multiple airspace classifications, from Class C to military; Dublin is a hive of activity. There are many No Fly Zones and Prohibited zones around Dublin, from airports to hospitals to foreign embassies to prisons. 

No Fly Zones, as you might have guessed, are areas where drones cannot be flown without prior permission and only by Specific Category Permissions holders. One of the biggest and least apparent No Fly Zones, is Phoenix Park, and due to the number of sensitive buildings within the park is almost entirely covered by an NFZ.  

Alongside NFZ is Class C airspace. Drones can now be used up to 30m/90m (depending on location) Above Ground Level (AGL) in these areas without ATC clearance. Beyond that, you need a Specific Category Operational Authorisation to apply for permission. Being granted permission is not a given; you need to use and work with ATC to complete the mission. 

At Drone Services Ireland, we specialise in working in the controlled airspace in Dublin, where we complete most of our work.

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