Amendment to the Air Navigation Order 2016 – Drones will required to be registered!

Following last years government’s consultation with the UK drone industry and all stakeholders, the Department for Transport has announced that it will put into law new requirements for drone operators. These include:

1.       operators of drones above 250g to be registered

2.       pilots flying these drones (known as ‘remote pilots’) to obtain an acknowledgement of competency from the CAA, having passed requirements set by the CAA such as an online safety test to prove their knowledge of the restrictions

3.       a height limit of 400ft for all drone flights

4.       a restriction from flying drones within 1km of protected aerodromes in the UK, unless you have the permission of the Air Traffic Control unit in question.

Measures 1 & 2 will not come into force until 30th November 2019 to give drone users time to adjust to this change and allow the Civil Aviation Authority to complete their work on the systems and educational materials required to implement these policies.

Measures 3 & 4 will come into force sooner on 30th July 2018, i.e. 2 months from now. With regards to both the 400ft and airports restrictions, where drone operations are deemed to be safe enough, the CAA will have the power to exempt operators from adhering to these rules. This will allow safe, innovative and positive commercial use of drone technology to continue.

In addition to the new measures, a draft Drones Bill will be published this summer, which will give police more on-the-spot powers if drones are being used inappropriately.