Drone Regulations in the UK
Changes are Coming
In Spring 2018 following an extensive government consuiltaion the UK with introduce new drone laws which will mean that users will need to take an online safety test and register their drone.
A few years ago I thought this was not needed as surely people who own drones know the risks and will operate sensibly. Sadly I was wrong and I really welcome these new laws. Maybe driven by the click bait culture of facebook there are videos everywhere of people breaking the very simple rules tat exist to operate drones safely in UK Airspace.
The reality of drone ownership is that to most people it is nothing more than a bit of fun.. this also includes seeing how high they will go and how far away people can fly them without loosing signal.
How the DJI Mavic Pro changed the world!
In my view the drone that changed the game was the DJI Mavic Pro. Ultra portable and massively capable (I have one in my collection which I have used professionally as well as for fun!). This drone made drone ownership sexy, a drone that literally transforms from your pocket into something that can go over 4500ft up and 4 miles away from you is amazing… and also a recipe for disaster.
Sadly I believe a serious accident is waiting to happen.. this could be someone flying over a busy motorway and suffering a motor failure and the resultant falling drone causing traffic to swerve with catastrophic results or the idiots that fly on a daily basis near airports, either way regulation is needed and to be honest probably overdue.
Overview of the Laws
- A reminder of the basic laws at the moment:
- Not flown higher than 120m
- Never flown out of VLOS (Visual Line of Sight)
- Not within 50m of people or vehicles that are not under the operators control. (30m for take-off)
- Not within 150m of Crowded or built up areas
- To use the drone commercially (Make money from the sale of photographs or footage) you must hold the CAA PFCO (Permission for Aerial Operations) Licence
If the new test makes people aware of the dangers of operating drones outside of these parameters and just one person decides not to fly in a dangerous way then this could ultimately save lives.
UK Drone Code
If you are thinking of getting involved in this amazing hobby or even starting out then more information can be found here : UK Drone Code