United Kingdom government to regulate drones and assess drone users

  • United Kingdom government to regulate drones and assess drone users

United Kingdom government to regulate drones and assess drone users

The UK government has just announced measures that will require owners of drones over a certain weight to register their devices, as well as plans to bring in a test for new owners.

Anyone who owns a drone weighing 250 grams and over will have to register it online or through an app in future, as the United Kingdom government hopes to "improve accountability and encourage owners to act responsibly".

All privately operated drones in the United Kingdom will soon need to comply with new regulations and drones weighing 250g or more will have to be registered.

The government department also said that the introduction of drone safety awareness test will mean owners have to "prove that they understand United Kingdom safety, security and privacy regulations".

The new safety rules will aim to prevent the numerous cases of near-misses between drones and aircraft, as pilots of commercial flights reported numerous Category A incidents involving drones or UAVs this year.

Announced on 22 July, drones weighing in at 250 grams and above will have to be registered. The government is planning to expand the use of geofencing to protect airspace around critical infrastructure, prisons, and major sporting and music events. Banning drones is unreasonable, having no rules is also unreasonable.

The UK is at the forefront of an exciting and fast growing drones market and it is important we make the most of this emerging global sector.

"Increasingly, drones are proving vital for inspecting transport infrastructure for fix or aiding police and fire services in search and rescue operations, even helping to save lives", Aviation Minister Lord Martin Callanan tells the BBC.

In the longer term, the government plans to "create an authoritative source of United Kingdom airspace data" which would be used to prevent drones being operated in certain zones, such as around prisons, through the use of "geo-fencing" technology.

The UK's Department for Transport (DfT), British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) and the Military Aviation Authority (MAA) were involved in the research. Increasingly, drones are proving vital for inspecting transport infrastructure for fix or aiding police and fire services in search and rescue operations, even helping to save lives.

As with all connected technology, drones are at risk of falling into the wrong hands. As per the release on the United Kingdom government's website, damage to the windscreen of helicopters has been cited as one of the reasons for registration.