Whitstable harbour drone shot of harbour with boats in, town can be seen in background.

Drone filming in Whitstable © CNN/Wojciech Treszczynski

Filming with drones (also known as Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)) is becoming popular as they provide high-production value shots and flexibility with minimum disruption on the ground.

Kent Film Office has consulted with local authorities, Kent Police and Kent Highway Services Below are details of when permits from Kent Film Office are required for drone filming in the Kent County Council area.

All drone filming is the sole responsibility of the drone operator, including all health and safety provisions, as well as copyright, privacy and nuisance considerations.

  • You do NOT need a Drone Permit from KFO if you launch/land your drone on private property but must seek the owner’s consent.
  • You do NOT need a Drone Permit from KFO if your drone weighs less than 250gr.
  • Kent Film Office merely grants permits for launching or landing sites on the public highway or public land, like beaches, parks, greens, etc. The actual flight is the sole responsibility of the drone operator.

A permit from Kent Film Office to launch or land a drone merely grants permission to use a specific location on the public highway or on public land and the operator agrees to indemnify and keep indemnified Kent County Council Film Office, Kent Highway Services and local authority land owner from and against any claims, demands, actions, proceedings, costs, damages, losses and expenses howsoever arising as a consequence of the drone flight, including but not limited to damage to the location and personal injury or death to any person howsoever caused in connection with the drone operation under a KFO permit.

You can apply for a Drone Permit with Kent Film Office via our online permit system.

You will need to submit the following documentation from your drone operator:

  • Flyer Identification, Operator Identification
  • Risk Assessment/Method statement
  • Public Liability Insurance


No-Fly Zones

There are several no-fly zones in Kent and the Kent Film Office can usually help put you in contact with the authority that can arrange for exemptions.

Notable areas are the permanent no-fly zones around Port of Dover, Lydd & Rochester Airports, Headcorn Aerodrome, Dungeness heliport and Lydd and Hythe firing ranges. There are also regular temporary restrictions along the coast of the English Channel.

You can find links to apps and websites for airspace restriction information on the CAA website that may be useful.

You should also be aware that there are local no-fly zones around some of our heritage sites and country parks and we can check this for your chosen location  if you contact us.

There is additional information regarding Drones on the Creative England Website.