Drone’s Eye View – CAA and VisitEngland launch ‘400ft Britain’

Today sees the launch of ‘400ft Britain’, a drone photography and videography competition hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in partnership with VisitEngland to educate people about using drones safely while celebrating the UK’s beautiful countryside and supported by leading aviation players.

Drones are the latest ‘must have’ piece of kit for photographers and video makers but it’s imperative that people understand the rules and fly them safely. 400ft Britain is a great, engaging way to educate drone users.

In keeping with the national tourism organisation’s #OMGB marketing campaign to celebrate amazing ‘Oh My Great Britain’ moments and experiences, budding drone enthusiasts are invited to submit an image or short video of the British countryside, whether it’s the stunning Yorkshire Dales, a sunset over the South Downs or the picturesque Lake District. The images must be captured using a safely operated drone at no higher than 400ft – the highest point the CAA recommends people fly their drone to keep them in sight according to the CAA’s Dronecode, a simple set of rules outlining how to use drones safely. Competition entries must follow the Dronecode.

The competition is aimed at images of the countryside as drone flyers need to observe the UK Drone laws which prohibit flight over congested areas or within 50 metres of a person or building.

The competition runs until 31 January 2017, giving new droners the chance to hone their skills before setting outdoors to capture something uniquely, beautifully British. With autumn just breaking and winter on its way, the CAA and VisitEngland expect some stunning imagery to be submitted through the simple hashtag #400ftBritain either via Twitter or Instagram.

Entries will be hosted at www.400ftBritain.com throughout the course of the competition, with winners picked in February 2017, and an exhibition planned for the New Year to showcase the very best submissions, before the UK’s first official ‘Drone Photographer and Videographer of the Year’ are both announced. The winners will be picked by a panel of photography experts and will win an exclusive Phantom Flight School drone holiday.

Jonathan Nicholson, Assistant Communications Director at the CAA said, “We want to encourage people to enjoy using their drones but they must do so safely. By launching 400ft Britain, a competition with the Dronecode embedded in its core, we’re raising awareness of the Code and making it clear to drone users that they must comply with the law and stay safe while piloting a drone.”

VisitEngland Photography Manager, Jasmine Teer said: “Britain is packed full of amazing #OMGB experiences that you can’t get anywhere else. This is a great opportunity to not only showcase the beautiful and diverse scenery across our countryside from a new perspective but ultimately to inspire more people to get out and explore our nations and regions.”

Phil Binks, RPAS lead at the air traffic control service NATS, said: “Drones are an exciting technology and 400ft Britain is a fantastic way of showcasing the beauty of the British countryside and getting across those all important safety messages.  With the number of drone incidents on the rise it’s important that people understand their legal obligations and fly safe.”

Competition entries must comply with the rules of the CAA’s Dronecode including:

  • Drones must be flown within your line of sight – It’s safer to stay below 400ft (120m) as this reduces the likelihood of a conflict with manned aircraft
  • Drones must be kept at least 50 metres from people and properties and 150 metres from crowds and built up areas
  • Drones cannot be flown near airports, airfields or aircraft

The Dronecode is an easy to understand version of the UK drone law that people must adhere to. For more information on the code go to www.caa.co.uk/droneaware

To enter the competition, simply upload your photo to Twitter or Instagram, or your video to YouTube using the hashtag #400ftbritain. Entries close on 31st January 2017.

The competition terms and conditions can be read here: www.400ftBritain.com.