Using drones on Snowdon

The following is the National Park’s policy regarding the use of drones on Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) and in the Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park. Their policy reflects the law.

Use of drones within the National Park, including on Snowdon (Yr  Wyddfa)
Use of drones for non-commercial purposes

The CAA has set out basic rules that must be adhered to by all users. All drone operators are required by the CAA to have a flyer ID and Operator ID for either private or commercial use.

It is against the law to fly a drone or model aircraft without having the required IDs. You can also be fined for breaking the law when flying.

Remember that you are responsible for flying your drone in a legal and safe manner.

Events

Drones are becoming increasingly common in outdoor organised or charity events, and operators must be aware of their legal responsibilities.

Mountains

Care should be taken when using drones on mountains due to the high number of hikers. On Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), all paths to the summit (which are also all Public Rights of Way) are geographically very narrow linear corridors used by a high number of hikers. The summit can be very busy, especially during the summer. More than one drone flying around in close proximity to each other could cause a considerable public safety concern.

Please note: The National Trust does not allow the flying of drones on any of their property. Much of the south and south-eastern side of Snowdon, including the summit, are owned by the National Trust. Other areas include the Ogwen Valley, the Carneddau and the Glyderau (including Tryfan).

Aircraft and helicopters

It should also be kept in mind that there may be other low-flying aircraft in the area, such as search and rescue helicopters or aircraft used for military training purposes. Therefore, operators and organisers should think carefully about the use of drones and their potential for serious injury and your potential liabilities in such circumstances.

Animals and wildlife

Operators should also note that drones should not obstruct or disturb livestock, wild animals (including birds), other domestic animals or pets when used in the countryside. Such activity could be subject to different legislation and could lead to prosecution.

Use of drones for commercial purposes

Whether using drones under 25kg or over 25kg, commercial users should obtain a formal UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) qualification, accredited by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), and operators must obtain the relevant permission from the landowner.

You will also need Public Liability Insurance and Aviation Liability Insurance cover. Where necessary, evidence of these documents should be presented. Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) kindly requests that all organisers discuss their activities with relevant Authority staff beforehand to avoid any difficulties.

Permission and licensing will be required to use drones on SNPA property, such as on the summit of Yr Wyddfa or other SNPA owned areas such as car parks. This can be arranged through SNPA’s Property Department at the National Park Office in Penrhyndeudraeth.

Basic rules for using drones in Snowdonia National Park
  • The drone should not endanger anyone or anything
  • The operator must keep the drone in line of sight (500m horizontally and 120m vertically)
  • The drone must not fly over or be within 150m of a ‘congested area’ (i.e. residential, commercial or recreational areas). The summit of Snowdon is often a ‘congested area’.
  • The drone must not fly over or be within 150m of an organised outdoor gathering (i.e. event)
  • The drone must not be within 50m of any vessel or structure
  • The drone must not be within 30m of any person except when taking off and landing
  • Owners and operators should have, where necessary, the relevant licensing requirements
  • Operators should heed any requirements under the Data Protection Act for the collection, use, distribution and storage of any images/film
More information

For further information about using drones in Snowdonia, please contact the National Park Authority or visit the Civil Aviation Authority’s web page about drones.


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