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Flying drones at Airports - legally

Flying drones near airports and around aircraft in the UK is illegal, as dictated by the drone laws set out by the CAA. Legally flying drones at airports is achievable, yet complex, and involves a mountain of paperwork, months of meetings, written permissions, risk assessments and in-person briefing of all parties. Once you overcome these monumental hurdles, it gets very exciting. Skirts the line between what is legal for drone flying in the UK is scary, but it allows us to capture drone footage that has never been seen before.

Bad Wolf Horizon is an award-winning drone team, based in Cornwall. In 2022 and 2023, the team was approached by Virgin Orbit to help capture the UK's first rocket launch from UK soil at Newquay Airport, to provide aerial cinematography and to cover all aspects of this historic event.

Flying over a period of roughly 6 months, capturing it all from the landing of Virgin Orbit's "Cosmic Girl", a converted Boeing 747, the arrival of the rocket "Start Me Up" on an RAF C17 and even covering the wet dress rehearsal prior to launch, all while skirting the lines of what is legal, meant that the team captured some of the most iconic aerial drone footage of any aircraft on UK soil.

For this project, the team used the DJI Inspire 2, utilising its long lenses and exceptional low-light capabilities to maintain our separation distances from aircraft as they came in to land at Newquay.

The footage from our drones made its way onto a Channel 4 Documentary called "A Very British Space Launch". The highlight film from the Start Me Up Rocket Launch, which inevitably failed is available to watch below.

With Bad Wolf Horizon, no hurdle is too big or too small. When it comes to making the impossible become a reality, we know how to get things done. Get in touch for more information.

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