UK to implement drone registration laws


The UK government has revealed plans to enforce registration and safety courses for owners of drones.

The new rules will impact anyone who owns a drone weighing over 250 grams.

Drone maker DJI said it was in favour of the measures.

As yet there are no concrete plans for the enforcement of the new requirements, nor is there a timeframe, as the Department of Transport have said that “the nuts and bolts still have to be ironed out”.

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

It is believed that the plans will also include further geo-fencing, a security system in which no-fly zones are programmed into drones.

“Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones,” said Aviation Minister Lord Martin Callanan.

“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 and introducing safety awareness tests to educate users, we can reduce the inadvertent breaching of airspace restrictions to protect the public.”

At the time of writing, there have been no serious incidents involving drones, but there have been several close calls with commercial aircrafts, as well as reports of drones being used to smuggle drugs into prisons.

DJI spokesman Adam Lisberg said the plans sounded like “reasonable common sense”.

“The fact is that there are multiple users of the airspace and the public should have access to the air – we firmly believe that – but you need systems to make sure everybody can do it safely,” he said.

“In all of these issues the question is, where is the reasonable middle ground? Banning drones is unreasonable, having no rules is also unreasonable.

“We’re encouraged that [the British government] seems to be recognising the value drones provide and looking for reasonable solutions.”