There’s to be a formation of 300 drones flying around the Thames for a filming event over the Christmas break.

According to a marine traffic alert, there will be filming around the Millenium Dome between 26th Dec and 2nd January between 11:45pm and 5:15am daily. There’s also a separate air traffic alert covering 27th Dec to 2nd Jan between 11pm and 5:15am – specifically towards the northern side of the Dome.

While the marine alert just defines the area of the river to be sealed off, the air traffic warning noted that the filming event will comprise of 300 UAS – that’s flying drones. What is being filmed is unknown, but a formation of several hundred drones flying in the sky is something being used increasingly for advertising and music videos.

An example of a drone display in South Korea earlier this year (c) Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport

The filming window is several days to allow for weather problems. Due to the location and time of the filming, not something to hike across London to watch – not least due to Tier 4 restrictions – but maybe something local residents in the Blackwall area might want to look out for (and share copiously on social media for the rest of us).


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  1. Sean says:

    The BBC One NYE celebration at midnight is still a bit of a mystery this year. Something ‘special’ is planned to replace the fireworks at the London Eye but that’s all they’ve said. It seems like a random week of the year to film for an ad or music video so could it be for this? Though the fact it ends on the 2nd rather than the 1st perhaps suggests otherwise.

  2. Sig says:

    Problem is were not allowed there to see it.

  3. Mel says:

    It’s likely to be in or near Trinity Buoy Wharf, because The Chainstore is closed for filming 26-2nd. (Chainstore is where great British Sewing Bee was filmed.

  4. JP says:

    Thanks Ian for the information.
    It was fantastic, especially of course the Captain Sir Tom image.

  5. ChrisC says:

    I thought it was very good. Made a change from the Eye shows which seem a bit samey these days.

    I hope we get more NYE shows with this sort of format in future years. The drones were very effective but I don’t see them being able to use them in this or larger numbers in central London.

    Congrats to all involved for putting it together and for keeping the details secret!

    If you missed it it’s on BBC iplayer. Well worth a couple of views as there was so much in the show.

  6. AlanM says:

    Well done for spotting the air & marine exclusions. I nearly commented earlier in the week to suggest that it could a NYE event – I didn’t have any inside knowledge- ‘twas just a guess….

    Here’s a link to the coverage – definitely worth a watch –

    I agree with ChrisC that it was a real change to see something different.

  7. AlaNM says:

    And if you enjoyed the London drone show – watch Edinburgh’s Hogmanay “Fare Well”.
    It has some great Drone animations –
    And some great music from Niteworks.

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