The UK government has today announced plans to introduce new drone laws, including mandatory registration of drones and a requirement for owners of small unmanned aircraft to attend a safety awareness course.
New UK Drone Laws to ‘Protect the Public’
Reporting to the BBC on the new legislation, Aviation Minister Lord Martin Callanan claimed that “Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones”
The proposed increase in legislation comes after a number of recent near misses, including one last week where a drone came within a metre of a passenger jet coming in to land at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Maximising the Full Potential of Drones
There has been a significant increase in the number of drones taking to the skies in recent years, both in a hobbyist and commercial capacity.
When operated by CAA approved pilots, drones have been fundamental in provider faster, cheaper and safer services to a number of industries including surveying, inspection and emergency services. The new UK drone laws are designed to protect their use in commercial industries whilst also improving general pilot safety.
The New UK Drone Laws
The specifics of the new legislation are yet to be confirmed, however, the government have announced the following statements, and we will continue to report as we find out more.
1. Drone operators who own a drone that weighs over 250 grams (8oz) will have to register their drone. This will make it easier to track pilots who are operating their drone illegally.
2. Drone operators will be expected to pass a drone safety test to prove that they can operate their SUA in accordance with UK air law.
It is advised that drone users start to learn the basic safety principles as soon as possible to ensure that they are using their drone in accordance with the guidelines.
The Department of Transport has released an in-depth consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK, click here to download your copy.