Drones have been in the news a lot lately, and not always for the best reasons. They provide an excellent way to see the world and get some amazing photos and video for a variety of uses, but you also have to consider that you’re sending in some cases several pounds of hardware up into the sky, where any sort of malfunction, user error, or in some cases a simple errant gust of wind can send your drone exactly where you don’t want it. The US outlined a drone registration process last year (before recently rescinding that process), and Canada even more recently adjusted their processes. UK drone registration is up next as the country works to reduce a number of near-misses with helicopters and airplanes.
The drone registration is only part of the equation in the UK. Users will also be required to take a safety awareness training course to ensure they are familiar with the ways to use their drones safely:
Under the rules, owners of drones weighing more than 250g – heavier than many available on the high street – will have to register their details and demonstrate that they understand safety and privacy laws that affect their use.
The move follows research that showed strikes by drones of more than 400g could critically damage helicopter windscreens, while a bigger drone of about 2kg could critically harm airliner windscreens at higher speeds.
According to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority’s Airprox Board there have been 22 incidents involving commercial airliners and what were likely drones during the first four months of this year. Regulators obviously want to be sure that a hobby drone operator isn’t accidentally crashing their drone into an airplane, or any other potentially catastrophic accident. The UK is also investigating additional geo-fencing opportunities, where drones are programmed not to enter specific air spaces such as over airports or prisons. These new regulations will only apply to recreational drone operators, as commercial operators are already required to register their drones, complete a training course, and follow other usage guidelines for height, line of sight, and proximity for safe use.
Last Updated on July 22, 2017.