There have been complaints from residents
about noise. This has come from models with IC engines and electric
Zagi-type models and concerns about safety. The warden will be making
visits and, if needed, enforcement notices will be issued against those
who do not follow the rules. The local Environmental Protection
Officer is also now involved, and this could end up with us losing
the facility altogether.
Use of National Trust properties for
non-powered model flying is acceptable, largely due to the
establishment of licences between the Trust and local clubs.
In 1998 two precedent agreements were
established between the Trust and the British Model Flying Association
(BMFA) for affiliated and non-affiliated clubs.
1. The National Trust welcomes non-powered
model flying on its land, recognising that the activity seldom causes
significant disturbance, provided particular care is taken with regard
to other visitors, livestock and birds.
2. Licences based upon the precedent
agreements prepared jointly by the National Trust and the BMFA will
regulate this activity.
Legislation, codes and agreements
- Danger and disturbance to other visitors.
- Disturbance to livestock and wildlife, particularly birds.
- Parking congestion at some sites.
- Creation of new paths to launching and landing points.
- Visual intrusion.
The overall body in charge of airspace rules is the Civil Aviation
Authority. Article 51 of the Air Navigation Order (1985) states that:
'A person shall not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an
aircraft to endanger any person or property.'
This law covers all model flying, whatever the size or weight of
the aircraft. The codes of conduct contained in the BMFA Members'
Handbook have been developed in response to Article 51. Wherever model
flying takes place these codes must be used. Models that are over 7kg
are subject to further regulations.
Under sections 58 and 59 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974,
local authorities or magistrates' courts may restrict or prohibit
flying if the noise caused by the activity amounts to a statutory
People may be disturbed by noise from model aircraft in the
countryside as well as indoors or in their own gardens, and the peace
and quiet of rural areas should be respected. In addition there may be
some urban open spaces, such as ornamental parks or children's play
areas, where model-flying would be inappropriate and should not take
place at all. Nature and wildlife reserves, country parks or other
countryside areas where people go to relax in quiet and peaceful
surroundings, should also be avoided by model-flyers. Preferably,
model-flying in country areas should be confined to specified
locations where suitable provisions have been or can be made with the
agreement of local farmers or landowners, and where the risk of
disturbance is relatively slight. Noisy pursuits will usually be out
of place in National Parks.
Model-flyers should therefore seek the agreement of the National
Park Authority before operating from any site in a National Park,
however remote it may be.
Where no direct supervision (eg
by clubs) of flying is possible, it is
recommended that the following should apply:
i. the point of launch of control-line and model aircraft with
limited engine-run should not normally be closer to any
noise-sensitive premises than 300 metres;
ii. the point of launch of radio-controlled models with continuous
engine-run (which range over a greater area) should not normally be
nearer to any noise-sensitive premises than 500 metres;
iii. models should not be flown closer to any noise-sensitive
premises than 200 metres.