When choosing a location to fly from (albeit FPV or even just line-of-sight) you need to carefully consider the air-space around you, most importantly you need to check that you are not within an air traffic zone that is being used by a local airport or aerodrome, a restricted area or even military airspace.
You might be thinking what is an ATZ? Well an ATZ (Aerodrome Traffic Zone) is the zone around the central run-way of an airport with a radius of approximately 2 miles, extending from the surface of the run-way to 2,000 ft (600 m) AAL (above aerodrome level).
For air safety reasons these areas need to be avoided by anybody who has not sought direct permission to fly within them (i.e. RC pilots).
Thankfully you don’t just have to guess there is a really useful free online service that can help you find local ATZ’s and other controls air-space zones.
Finding your local Air Traffic & Control Zones
Follow the link http://notaminfo.com/ukmap and you will be taken to the UK NOTAM map; the first thing you need to do is clear the NOTAM details & notifications by de-selecting all of the check-boxes in the “NOTAM details” box (highlighted in yellow below), once you have cleared these details expand the “Airspace Details” box and select the “Show aerodrome traffic zones (ATZ)” option. This will give you a clear representation of where your local ATZ’s are, you should be sure to keep well away from these areas when taking off, flying or landing!
You’ll also notice there are various other options you need to be aware of (so don’t forget to select these options and consider their locations when choosing an area to fly from):
Show control zones (CTR/CTZ)
These are the areas ABOVE an ATZ that are under direct control by larger airports or central control centres. In reality you shouldn’t be flying high enough to infringe these zones but you must consider them to keep safe.
These are military class traffic zones and these need to be given a REALLY wide birth. You will have A LOT of explaining to do if you interfere with these.
Prohibited airspace & Restricted airspace
There are two separate options to cover Prohibited & Restricted airspace, you should also be aware of these areas and as with MATZ’s give them a wide-birth!
Most importantly use your common sense!