Flying a drone in Llandudno, legal?

When I first got my drone, Llandudno was one of the first places that I rushed off to. I had seen so many Instagram posts by drones of the beach, the surfers, the sharks etc. and thought it made the most sense to start my drone career with something similar. The one thing that you don’t appreciate when looking at those photos is the fear that goes through your body when you are flying a hundred meters out over the ocean and the controller says ‘signal lost’, but that’s a story for another day.

Llandudno is a residential area, which means that it is not necessary legal to fly anywhere past the start of the beach because you are then within fifty meters of someones property or a road. However, if you trust yourself enough as a pilot to fly over the water and solid rock formations then you are going to be alright. As long as you are not flying over someones property without their permission, you are well within the confines of the law (regarding proximity), and you are likely going to leave with some incredible footage and a couple of really nice photographs.

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Many individuals have taken a liking to flying their drones over the ocean, not only because it allows for great content, but because you do not have to concern yourself with as many laws as you do when flying over land. This takes a large amount of stress out of a drone flight and makes things much more enjoyable. However, as I have said in most of my posts, it is so frustrating having to limit your creative abilities to stay within the confines of the law. The opportunity for great photographs are endless and being able to use your drones capabilities should enhance that even further.

DJI constantly advertises the new capabilities of increased height and greater distance from the operator, yet in most countries, ESPECIALLY South Africa, you cannot even use a fifth of it. “You should always be able to see your drone when flying it”. The capabilities of the Phantom 4 mean that you can fly it five kilometers away from you, and the chances that you are going to still be able to see it when it is a kilometer away from you is extremely slim, never mind five.

Llandudno is a place where I really want to push my drone, send it all the way down the coast past where I can see it, and capture footage of around Llandudno, not just the main beach, but it is something that I simply am not allowed to do, and that is extremely frustrating. I suppose it is like owning a Ferrari and constantly having to stick to 120km/h on the highway. You make the most of it within those boundaries, but you want nothing more to push it up over 300km/h.

So in the mean time, I shall continue to fly my drone in Llandudno, staying over the beach and the ocean to ensure that I am not breaking any laws and hopefully, at some point in the future, the laws are relaxed to allow users to make the most of their expensive investments.

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