119 Channel Islands (UK)

Flag of Guernsey


Flag of Jersey

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

Google Earth

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Last updated on April 18, 2024


According to Britannica, the islands are dependencies of the British crown (and not strictly part of the United Kingdom), having been so attached since the Norman Conquest of 1066, when they formed part of the duchy of Normandy. They comprise four main islands, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark, with lesser islets and a labyrinth of rocks and reefs. They are administered according to local laws and customs, being grouped into two distinct bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, with differing constitutions. Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Lihou, and Brecqhou are Guernsey’s dependencies, and the Ecrehous rocks and Les Minquiers are Jersey’s. The last two were the source of long-standing dispute between England and France until 1953, when the International Court of Justice confirmed British sovereignty. In the late 20th century the dispute revived, as sovereignty of these islands determines allocation of rights to economic development (specifically, petroleum) of the continental shelf.

The islands were the only British territory to endure German occupation during World War II. Anticipating invasion, some 30,000 of the islands’ then 104,000 residents evacuated before the arrival of German forces at the end of June and beginning of July 1940. The islands’ occupiers surrendered in May 1945.

Jersey is now governed under the British monarch in council by the States Assembly, in which the royally appointed bailiff presides over 8 senators, 12 constables (connétables), and 29 deputies, all popularly elected. The lieutenant governor and crown officers have seats and may speak but not vote. The Royal Court has three full-time judges: the bailiff (principal judge or president), the deputy bailiff, and the master. The bailiff and deputy bailiff are the trial judges and, together with two jurats, sit as the inferior number of the Royal Court to try civil cases and criminal matters that are not tried before a jury. The master is responsible for interlocutory matters in civil cases only. Judicial and legislative functions of jurats were not separated until 1948, when other reforms excluded from the States Assembly the jurats and the rectors of the 12 parishes. Most of the proceedings are conducted in English, though French is also an official language.

Civil / National Aviation Authority (CAA/NAA)

Island of Jersey Director of Civil Aviation – The Director of Civil Aviation (DCA) has overall responsibility to ensure the safety of civil aviation in Jersey and its airspace. The director is responsible for:

  • ensuring the safety of aerodromes and air traffic
  • licensing aerodromes
  • approving air traffic controllers

The director is also responsible for regulating from Jersey:

  • the operation of the Channel Islands Control Zone and the safety of air traffic in that zone
  • the operation of meteorological services for the purposes of international air navigation in Jersey and the Channel Islands Control Zone


SkyVectorGoogle MapsADS-B Exchange

ICAO countries publish an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is divided into three parts: General (GEN), En Route (ENR) and Aerodromes (AD). ENR 1.4 details the types of airspace classes they chose to adopt from classes A through G. Channel Islands Airspace

On 6th March 2014 Channel Islands Airspace went through a major re-classification process.

Basically, the lateral boundaries of the airspace remain untouched, airspace from the surface up to FL80 was reclassified as class D and identified as the Channel Islands CTR (Channel Island Control Zone). The lower levels of the Control Areas CTA(1) and CTA(2) from their respective base levels up to FL80 were also reclassified as Class D Airspace. From FL80 up to FL195 has been established as a Terminal Control Area (TMA) and will remain Class A Airspace.

The old CTRs around each of the Islands have been de-established.

Channel Islands Airspace

The Channel Island TMA (Class A), CTR and CTA (Class D) been designed to protect the terminal approach and departure routes of Commercial Air Transport flights operating to and from each of the islands.

Jersey Air Traffic Control is the controlling Authority for the majority of Channel Island Airspace.

Airspace - Channel Islands


Drone Regulations


Legal requirements for the operation of small unmanned aircraft in the UK Overseas Territories

The requirements for the use of Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) in the UK Overseas Territories are laid down in the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order. The main rules for their use are laid down in Article 73, however, Article 191 highlights the other articles that also apply to the use of small unmanned aircraft.

The following ASSI SUA Information Leaflets give details of the legal requirements for the use of SUAs, as well as guidance on various activities using SUAs.

ASSI SUA Information Leaflet No 1: Legal Requirements for SUAs (Issue 1, dated August 2022)

ASSI SUA Information Leaflet No 2: Operational Guidance for SUAs (Issue 1, dated August 2022)

ASSI SUA Information Leaflet No 3: Definitions and Glossary for SUAs (Issue 1, dated August 2022)

Drone Safety Leaflet

Please note that there may be additional airspace restrictions on flying SUAs in some Territories.

Montserrat: Direction prohibiting the use of all SUAs within the vicinity of John A Osborne International Airport (dated November 2019).

St Helena: Direction prohibiting and restricting the use of all SUAs within the vicinity of St Helena Airport (dated November 2019).

Ascension Island: Direction prohibiting the use of all SUAs within the vicinity of Wideawake Airfield (dated June 2016).

If you have a query with regard to operating a small unmanned aircraft in the UK Overseas Territories, please contact the appropriate authority for the territory you wish to operate in as follows:

Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St Helena (including Ascension and Tristan da Cunha), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Air Safety Support International
Floor 2, The Portland Building
25 High Street
West Sussex
RH10 1BG
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1293 214040
Fax: +44 (0)1293 214069
Email: enquiries@airsafety.aero

If you wish to operate in the UK Overseas Territories of Anguilla, BVI, Montserrat, St Helena (including Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha) and South Georgia or the South Sandwich Islands you should apply to ASSI using the following application form:

Download the application form for the operation of a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) in the UK Overseas Territories Airspace.


Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)


Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of using a drone to film in the Channel Islands, pictured above.

They need you to mention any national laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in and whether or not you need an airspace authorization.

Does it matter whether or not you are a citizen of the country?

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do you need a certificate to fly UAS?

If so, how do you obtain one?

Are there fees associated with this?

If so, how much?

Question 3

May you operate beyond visual line of sight?

If so, what procedures must you follow?

Question 4

Does the country have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.







Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book