OK, not clearing one’s nose but flying near or over congested areas. This is a sure way to lose a few pounds as one America company found to their detriment, flying over congested areas without the proper permissions can be a costly mistake.
The firm, Skypan International, were caught bang to rights in the US by the FAA who, while holding a $1.9 MILLION! Sword of Damocles fine above their heads, allowed them to settle for a mere $200,000 with the threat of a further $300,000 fine should they be naughty again.
So why are we posting about it? Well, we have similar rules in place here in the UK that are relevant to hobbyists and certified operators.
If you’re unaware, a congested area is defined as in The Air Navigation Order as being “any area of a city, town or settlement which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes”. If you’re a hobbyist and your drone has a camera, and let’s be honest it most likely will, then you have to stay at least 150m away from them.
That’s quite a lot, but it’s the law.