Landing near Open Air Assemblies

Landing and Taking Off Near Open Air Assemblies

The rules for pilots wishing to land at a large event have changed.  The UK CAA’s CAP793 states that you have to get CAA permission using form SRG1304 and pay a fee.  Permission is no longer required to land in the vicinity of a crowd – the requirements for such landings are now set out in the AIP at GEN 1.6-5 as follows:


2.1 When an event involving an organised open-air assembly of more than 1000 people takes place within 1000 metres of an unlicensed aerodrome or helicopter landing site, compliance with the following procedures is required under Standardised European Rules of the Air SERA.3105 Minimum Heights.

2.2 Procedures applicable at a pre-existing unlicensed aerodrome:

(a) Landing and take-off shall only be performed with the permission of the person in charge of the aerodrome;
(b) Aircraft shall not fly over any area occupied by spectators or car parks below a height of 1000 ft agl unless at such a height as will permit, in the event of an emergency arising, a landing to be made without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface; and
(c) The person in charge of the aerodrome shall ensure that on the ground, aircraft and members of the public are segregated from each other.

2.3 Procedures applicable at a temporary helicopter landing site:

(a) The helicopter commander or operator shall obtain the written permission of the person in charge of the event prior to using the landing site;
(b) The person in charge of the event should convey to helicopter commanders written details pertaining to the location and layout of the landing site and the procedures to be employed;
(c) The person in charge of the event should inform the local police authority a minimum of 24hours in advance of the commencement of operations;
(d) The person in charge of the event shall ensure that on the ground, aircraft and members of the public are segregated from each other;
(e) Landing and take-off shall only be performed:

(i) During daylight hours;
(ii) When the cloud ceiling is higher than 600ft AGL and the flight visibility is more than 3km;
(f) Helicopters shall not fly over any area occupied by spectators or car parks below a height of 1000 ft AGL or such height as will permit the helicopter, in the event of a power unit failure, to alight clear of the assembly, whichever is the higher;
(g) Landing and take-off shall be made in an area which has been set aside for the purpose and helicopters which are landing and taking off shall maintain a safe distance from persons located outside the area, of at least 30 metres; and
(h) Approach and departure shall be made over clear areas so that a safe forced landing can be achieved in the event of engine failure.

2.4 Procedures applicable to aeroplane operations at a temporary aerodrome:

(a) Operations should be conducted in accordance with the guidance contained in CAP 793;
(b) The aircraft commander or operator shall obtain the written permission of the person in charge of the event prior to using the aerodrome;
(c) The person in charge of the event should convey to aircraft commanders written details pertaining to the location and layout of the aerodrome and the procedures to be employed;
(d) Aircraft shall not fly over any area occupied by spectators or car parks below a height of 1000 ft AGL or such height as will permit the aircraft, in the event of a power unit failure, to alight clear of the assembly, whichever is the higher.


2.5 CAP 793 contains guidance on safety standards at unlicensed aerodromes and CAP 789 contains guidance to operators who hold AOCs.

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