4.6. Flying over people or close to people

In many countries a drone must not be flown over people or close to people who are not directly participating in the operation of that drone. This means that the pilot can fly over areas which are unpopulated or establish operating areas were people are kept out.

For a company this means that drones must also not be flown above employees or close to employees of the company other than those directly involved with operating the drones.

Most countries have a way for companies to get special permissions or waivers that allow them to fly over or close to people under certain conditions.


  1. Injuries caused directly by drone crashes or indirectly through accidents (e.g. traffic accidents) caused by people startled or scared by drones.
  2. Scared or annoyed people under the flight path of drones inform authorities and trigger investigations.

Audit Steps

  1. Interview pilots and flightcrew to understand what precautions are taken to comply with the rules against flying over people and assess these precautions for effectiveness.
  2. If the company has received special permits or waivers to fly over people review the documents and evaluate compliance with the conditions listed in those documents.


drone audit program index