Government Announces Mandatory Drone Registration – Key Excerpts here

See below our choice of the key excerpts from both reports

Unlocking the UKs high tech economy consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK

The responses received through this consultation have affirmed the Government’s initial assessment that the introduction of a registration scheme in the near future is the most beneficial option to explore.

Registration will be mandatory for all operators of drones weighing 250g and above.

The Government will [also] proceed with making it mandatory for leisure users of drones of 250g and above in weight to take a basic knowledge test on the law in the UK and how to fly safely.

The Government is making this mandatory because it wants to be clear how important knowing how to fly your drone safely and within the law is. Using a drone can be extremely enjoyable, but users need to be aware of others using the airspace around them as well as those on the ground, be considerate and follow the law.

The Government will begin by developing standards for this test, accompanied by training materials for taking the test, which will cover safety, security and privacy issues. The threshold of 250g has been selected to match that of registration.

The Government is scoping and developing potential amendments to the Air Navigation Order 2016 drone clauses, to make them easier to understand, beginning with suggestions received through this consultation. The Government will plan to implement a fuller update to the Air Navigation Order 2016 drone clauses once the EU has set new rules in this area (currently expected around mid-2018). This is in order to implement all significant changes at once and give businesses clarity.

Drone operators of drones of 250g and above will be required to register their details. This will not, in general, mean that they are required to register individually each of their drones, where these drones are at the lower end of the weight range, for example. This will minimise the burden placed on commercial and committed hobbyist operators who can own, and operate, multiple drones. However, in some cases, depending on where they intend to fly or what kind of operation, or where the drone is heavier, there will be a requirement for drone operators to register each such drone individually. The exact threshold at which a registered operator will be required to register the individual details of their drone will be scoped further before a decision is taken.

It is highly likely that there will be a charge for registration, just as there are charges for undertaking mandatory requirements when you own a car. The Government does not believe it appropriate for the taxpayer to fund the costs of regulating drones, as not everybody owns one. The basis of the charge would be to cover the cost of running the scheme. Every effort will be made to keep the process of registration as simple and ‘admin-light’ as possible, which will reduce the charge required.

When undertaking registration it will likely also be necessary to complete relevant mandatory educational requirements. The combination of these two requirements into one process will be done if it is assessed that this will save time, reduce overall costs and increase compliance. The Government will also explore ways for these requirements to be undertaken online and through smartphone apps to make the process as easy to comply with as possible.

Drone Mid-Air Collision Study report

For airliners, the test results are more reassuring – only a much heavier drone of above around 2kg in weight would cause critical damage and only when airliners fly at higher speeds, which is commonly done at heights where these drones are not flown or can easily reach.

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