Is it legal to scatter ashes from the air?

December 13, 2021

This is a question that I’m often asked – and understandably so.

It is the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who are the governing body for all things aviation-based in the UK and so it falls to the CAA to decide upon the rules. Up until last December, it was possible for a commercial drone operator to release what are referred to as ‘articles’ from the air under a standard ‘Permission’. This was a very vague clearance and with the ever-increasing use of drone systems in agriculture, takeaway delivery and even organ transportation, some increased regulation was inevitable. For all drone operators, this came in the form of what is now known as the 2020 Amendment.

Aerial Ashes Ltd started preparing for these changes earlier this year. We had to detail the modifications made in developing equipment, followed by identifying the additional risks involved in scattering ashes from the air. When complete, this work formed 3 volumes of what is known as an Operating Safety Case which is analysed thoroughly by the CAA. Not an insignificant amount of work, Aerial Ashes Ltd were delighted to have been awarded a new Operating Authority; for us, therefore, it is completely legal to scatter ashes from the air.