Meaning of Populous Place
Populous areas – for RPA operations, does not have its common meaning. Rather, it is defined in the regulations as:
…an area [that] has a sufficient density of population for some aspect of the operation, or some event that might happen during the operation (in particular, a fault in, or failure of, the aircraft…) to pose an unreasonable risk to the life, safety or property of somebody who is in the area but is not connected with the operation.
For example, if a rotorcraft-type RPA is flying at a relatively low height (i.e. 30 m/100 ft) directly above a single person not associated with the flight, it may be considered to be operating in a populous area due to the fact that a complete loss of power may cause injury to the person below. Similarly, an RPA operating over a large public gathering at a higher level (e.g. 120 m/400 ft) would pose an unreasonable risk to the safety of the people below because, in the event of a systems failure, it may not be able to clear the area. This interpretation would apply equally to higher flight over built-up areas where there is a greater risk to property.
Therefore RPA (UAV/Drone) CANNOT operate over a populated area unless the risk to persons or property can be mitigated.