UK Government Says Almost All Drones Will Now Need To Be Registered
25 July, 2017, 11:46 | Author: Lorena Waters
Drone enthusiasts will face new restrictions in the United Kingdom after the British governmentannounced plans to usher in a new series of regulations, including registration of any drone weighing over 250 grams and forcing owners to undertake a health-and-safety course.
The new law will implement a registration scheme and mandatory competency tests for all users of drones weighing 250 grams and above.
Drone safety awareness tests, which could be undertaken online or through an app, will ensure that users understand United Kingdom safety, security, and privacy regulations, the government said.
The move follows safety research that concluded drones could damage the windscreens of helicopters.
United Kingdom researchers have found that even a very small hobbyist drone could pose a serious risk to some helicopters and light aircraft, and that heavier but increasingly widely used drones could break an airliner's windscreen in a collision at altitudes and speeds typical of a jet making an approach to a landing. The government also wants to extend the use of geo-fencing to create no-fly zones around airports, prisons and other areas. Additionally, the owners of these drones will be required to sit a safety awareness test. Take Amazon, for example; the company announced late past year their first delivery via a drone, which coincidentally also took place in the U.K. That said, Amazon highlights that safety is their biggest priority.
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"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", Callanan was to say. If successful, Amazon also plans on delivering packages in 30 minutes or less with drones.
Earlier this year, Canada announced new drone restrictions as part of the Aeronautical Act, stipulating that recreational drone operators must mark their devices with contact information, and can not fly them at night or in cloudy conditions.
He said: "Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones".
"Like all technology, drones too can be misused", said Aviation Minister Lord Callanan in a statement on the government's website.
Under the UK's Civil Aviation Authority rules, drones must not be flown above 400 feet or near airports or airfields.
In comparison to UK laws, the United States does not require anyone to register non-commercial drones after a May 2017 court ruling, which invalidated the Federal Aviation Administration's drone regulations.
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