With the next Royal Wedding imminent, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May, the CAA has posted a Restricted Airspace (Temporary) over the Windsor area for the whole weekend, see http://skywise.caa.co.uk/alert-restricted-airspace-temporary-4/?cat=30. NATS and Heathrow ATSU will have everything under control from an airline traffic perspective and will be hoping that the normal westerlies will prevail so the noise from any aircraft overhead can be minimised, especially during the marriage service itself.
Manned aviation operatives, being in touch with other ATSUs and possibly Heathrow itself, will be made aware of this restriction before venturing into the area on either of these days. Commercial drone operators, the good ones at least, will also do their due diligence and realise the RA(T) applies to them and any drone operation as well. NOTAMs relating drone operations in the Windsor area raised through the NSF procedure already appear on websites, so with the RA(T) in place, NATS is very unlikely to sanction any drone operation in the Windsor near or on these dates.
With the world media and press watching, it will be a momentous occasion but what is the probability that a non-regulated and irresponsible drone owner ‘tries it on’ on the day – just for that exclusive view or footage. And if that happens will anti-drone technology be applied? There has to be a big chance it will.
As a drone operator, will you watch the event on TV? If you do, let’s hope you don’t see something you recognise crashing in on the scene.
John Moreland, Head of Training, DronePartners