UK to introduce new drone registration and safety rules


The UK Government has revealed a plan to introduce new drone registration and safety awareness rules to regulate the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Under the proposed rules, owners of drones weighing 250g and more will be required to register details of their vehicles with the government.

New safety awareness tests will also be conducted to prove the owner’s understanding of the UK’s safety, security and privacy regulations.

“Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones."

The government’s new plans also include the country-wide extension of geofencing technology, which is built into the UAV and operated using GPS coordinates. It can also be programmed to stop the drone from entering restricted zones such as prisons or aviation airspace.

UK Aviation Minister Lord Callanan said: “Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones. Increasingly, drones are proving vital for inspecting transport infrastructure for repair or aiding police and fire services in search and rescue operations, even helping to save lives.

“But like all technology, drones too can be misused. By registering drones, introducing safety awareness tests to educate users we can reduce the inadvertent breaching of airspace restrictions to protect the public.”

The government's latest move follows research that found drones weighing 400g can damage helicopter windscreens.

The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT), British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) and the Military Aviation Authority (MAA) were involved in the research.

As a result of the study, the European Cockpit Association (ECA) has urged the government to take appropriate measures to mitigate the risk of flying drones dangerously.