Written by on Jun 29, 2012. Posted in On Location

Airspace restrictions for London 2012 Olympics frustrate aerial filming industry

Severe restrictions imposed on airspace over London and south-east England for the Olympics has provoked considerable frustration in the UK’s aerial filming industry. The severely restricted zone extends halfway to Dover in the south-east and beyond Luton and Stansted airports in the north.

Coming at the height of summer and at a time of economic difficulties, the restrictions are a major blow for aerial filming businesses in the London area. The feelings of some of the region’s leading aerial filmmakers are that the scale of the restrictions is unjustified and that despite a period of lengthy consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority the needs of existing airspace users haven’t been properly considered.

The scale of the restrictions has even surprised the aviation industry.

Tim Desbois, Flight Logistics

Tim Desbois is with Flight Logistics, based at Elstree Aerodrome in Borehamwood: “The scale of the restrictions has even surprised the aviation industry. Foreign shooting crews need to be made aware that they won’t be able to do any flying over London during the Olympics.

“At the moment we’re in a position where we have to tell productions we don’t know exactly what aerial services we’ll be able to provide. As one of London’s aerial filming service providers, that’s far from ideal!”

The message to production companies outside London and the UK is to be aware of the situation before planning an aerial scout over the city this summer.

Non-commercial aircraft wanting permission to fly in the Restricted Zone are being asked to submit a full flight plan that clearly state the fixed routing intended. Passengers are also required to pass through the security checkpoints at one of the major airports.

Location scouting charters can't have flight plans and routing clients via the major airports is wildly impractical so it will be a summer of uncertainty for these companies. The message to production companies outside London and the UK is to be aware of the situation before planning an aerial scout over the city this summer.

For details of the full restricted zone click here.

(Main page photo: Flight Logistics)

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