If you are operating a drone in a public space in Torbay, there are a few things you need to know:


If the drone weighs less than 250g and does not have a camera the operator does not need a flyers ID.

If the drone weighs more than 250g and has a camera the operator must have a valid flyers ID. The Civil Aviation Authority issues this after you have completed training and assessments. This applies to both adults and children.

  Register and take the test to operate a drone

The person or organisation responsible for the drone must have an operator ID. This applies even if you have a flyers ID. If your drone is grounded or involved in an accident, we can identify the operator.

  Get an operator ID

It is against the law to fly a drone without the required ID’s.

You may need extra documentation depending on:

  • the size of the drone you are flying
  • if you are flying under the Civil Aviation Authority’s Open or Specific categories.

Larger, heavier drones may fall under the specific category. Contact us for more information on flying under the specific category.


The drone operator must have the landowner's permission to launch and land a drone.

You must follow the Drone and Model Aircraft Code.

Safe flying

The drone operator must make sure conditions are safe for flight. This includes checking but is not limited to:

  • weather conditions
  • suitable launch sites
  • suitable landing sites
  • the proximity to manned aircraft

You should always keep your drone in view when it is in flight.

If you think a drone is being operated in an unsafe manner or has been in an accident, you should report it to the Police. They have powers to enforce the landing of drones.

Data protection and privacy

You need to take responsible action to protect the privacy of others.

If your drone has a camera its use may be covered by the Data Protection Act. If you can identify people in the images and/or video you take then you are processing data about them. It is likely that you will need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) as a Data Controller. Complete a self-assessment to see if you need to register with them.

  Check if you need to register with the ICO

The ICO also have a guide on your responsibilities as a drone operator to protect the privacy of others.