Navigating Restricted Airspace for Aerial Videography


In a recent project, Different View was commissioned by a client to film two expansive construction sites: one adjacent to London City Airport and the other near the US Embassy in Greater London. This case study outlines our meticulous process of navigating restricted airspace and obtaining permissions to conduct aerial shoots in these tightly regulated zones.

Client’s Requirement:

Our client sought aerial footage of two major construction projects located near London City Airport and Nine Elms. Given the complex locations, our task involved capturing compelling visuals while adhering strictly to aviation regulations.

Challenges Faced:

Restricted Airspace: Proximity to London City Airport presented challenges with strict no-fly zones and regulated airspace, with the latter being situated within two restricted areas.

Flight Permission: Securing permissions from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) to fly a drone in this controlled airspace posed a significant obstacle.

Coordination with Airport Authorities: Coordinating flight schedules without disrupting airport operations was essential yet intricate.

Strategy Implemented:

Non-Standard Flight Application: A comprehensive non-standard flight application was meticulously prepared, including a detailed flight plan and risk assessment.

Communication with NATS: Submission of the flight plan and risk assessment to NATS highlighted our expertise in safe drone operations within restricted areas.

Collaboration with Airport Authorities: Direct engagement with London City Airport officials facilitated negotiations for a flight schedule that ensured safety and minimal disruption to airport activities.

Execution and Results:

Approval and Coordination: Rigorous preparation and effective communication with NATS led to the approval of our non-standard flight application.

Negotiated Flight Schedule:

Collaborating with London City Airport authorities finalized a mutually agreed date and time for the drone flight, avoiding conflicts with airport activities.

Successful Filming: With the approved flight plan and airspace access, we captured exceptional footage of the construction site adjacent to the airport. Our footage vividly depicted the construction’s proximity to local facilities, meeting the client’s requirements.


Navigating restricted airspace for aerial videography near London City Airport was a challenging yet successful endeavour for Different View. Our expertise in managing complex scenarios, proactive approach in obtaining permissions, and collaboration with aviation authorities enabled us to deliver outstanding results while complying with stringent regulations.

This case study underscores Different View’s dedication to professionalism, proficiency in drone operations, and ability to overcome challenges to meet client expectations in highly regulated environments.

Equipment Used:

  • DJI Mavic 3
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro