Small Unmanned Aircraft: DRONES, Model Aircraft etc....

The following downloads and information have been produced relating to the operation of Model Aircraft, Small Unmanned Aircraft, UAVs' Drones and Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft in the Channel Islands:

Graphical Warnings of the use of Small Unmanned Aircraft

Introduction to SUA in Jersey

This information contained in the above guides has been produced by Jersey Air Traffic Control in conjunction with the Jersey Director of Civil Aviation (DCA) to provide guidance to operators of Small ‘Unmanned’ Aircraft (SUA) and Small ‘Unmanned’ Surveillance Aircraft (SUSA) who wish to operate on Jersey.

Similar legislation exists to cover Guernsey and the other Channel Islands.

The latest generation of Small Unmanned Aircraft have very advanced capabilities and are becoming widely used for a range of photographic, cinematographic and survey tasks.

What is a Small Unmanned Aircraft?


A Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) means any unmanned aircraft, other than a balloon or a kite, having a mass of not more than 20 kilograms without its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight; Air Navigation (Jersey) Law 2014

Many such SUA are of the electrically powered ‘multi rotor’ type. However, the term SUA refers to all unmanned model aircraft including other electric types, internal combustion, turbine powered aircraft and gliders.

A Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft (SUSA) means a small unmanned aircraft that is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition; Air Navigation (Jersey) Law 2014
Basically if you attach any form of camera to any small unmanned aircraft it becomes a Small Surveillance Aircraft regardless of whether or not data is streamed back to the operator.

All reference to SUA and SUSA on these pages should be interpreted to apply to other ‘model aircraft’ of the same category but which may be known by alternative names such as Drone, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS),Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV), Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), Small Aircraft legacy term, Radio Controlled Model Aircraft/ Helicopter, Helicam, Multi Rotor, etc.

Commercial Operations - Aerial Work

The use of SUA/SUSA for any form of "Valuable Consideration", commercial undertaking etc is deemed to be "Aerial Work" and requires permission granted by the Director of Civil Aviation.


Aerial work means any purpose (other than commercial air transport) for which an aircraft is flown if valuable consideration is given or promised in respect of the flight or the purpose of the flight. Air Navigation (Jersey) Law 2014

Operators/Pilots should carefully consider the “purpose of the flight”.
If the flight is being conducted as part of any business/commercial undertaking then it will most likely be deemed to be aerial work and will therefore require a permission granted by the Director of Civil Aviation.

Some examples of what may be considered Aerial Work:

  • A neighbour giving you £40/Crate of Beer for some aerial photos of their house.
  • Estate agent taking aerial photos of a client’s property.
  • Building/site surveyor/inspector etc…. aerial survey work
  • Any training flight conducted as a requirement of maintaining currency in accordance with an aerial work permit.
  • Taking photographs and selling them to the media, putting online for sale etc….