Non-Standard Flight Applications

Unusual Aerial Activities are events such as air exercises, trials, aerial surveys, Unmanned Aircraft flights, flying displays, formation flights, balloon or kite flights that that could adversely affect the normal operation of other airspace users and may constitute a hazard to pilots who are not aware of the activity.

Unusual Aerial Activites wholly contained within controlled airspace are processed under either Non-Standard Flight (NSF) or Enhanced Non-Standard Flight (ENSF) approval procedures and are subject to prior approval either by the CAA or specific Air Traffic Services provider (UK AIP ENR 1.1.4).

According to Civil Aviation Authority policy, this site is the main channel for approvals, renewals and amendments for NSFs and ENSFs within UK controlled airspace.  This is split into five areas of responsibility depending on the location of the flight:-

Non-Standard Flights (NSF)

  • London Terminal Control
  • London Area Control
  • Scottish Control
  • The vicinity of Manchester Airport (within 15 nautical miles / up to 7,000ft AMSL)

Enhanced Non-Standard Flights (ENSF)

  • Restricted Areas R157, R158 and R159 in central London

Notification of other Non-Standard Flight activities

  • Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA - commonly referred to as drones) - click here for more guidance
  • Balloon and Lantern Releases
  • Model Aircraft Flights
  • Balloon Tethering

Applications for NSFs should be made with a minimum of 21 days notice.  Applications for ENSFs should be made with a minimum of 28 days notice.  In all cases, applications submitted less than 7 days in advance of the flight will not be processed.

Activities that are not contained within Controlled Airspace do not need approval.  If any doubt exists, please do apply and we can help.

Click here to submit an application for an NSF, an ENSF or for any of the other notifications shown above

Further contact details for NATS and MOD Non-standard flight enquiries can be found here.

Alternatively, the following links will take you to external sites which contain more information and details on how to notify the relevant authorities for:-

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Updated today at 12:50