UK drone legislation comes into effect

The new laws in the UK to restrict drones from flying above 400 feet or within one kilometre of airport boundaries has now come into effect from 30 July.

The UK Government legislation aims to help achieve safer flying across the country, and new research from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suggests that the legislation has been met with approval from UK citizens, finding that 77% felt that more drone regulation was needed. Meanwhile, within the community of drone users, 75% were also in agreement.

More than 2,000 UK adults, and over 350 UK drone users were surveyed for the study, with 93% of the public and 96% of drone users calling it ‘vital’ that drone flyers adhere to the rules and guidelines of the CAA’s Dronecode – a set of rules designed to promote safe and responsible use.

The study also revealed that awareness within the drone community of the CAA’s Dronecode has risen from just over half (54%) in 2016 to nearly three-quarters (71%) in 2018.

Jonathan Nicholson, assistant director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: “As recreational drone use becomes increasingly widespread across the UK it is heartening to see that awareness of the Dronecode has also continued to rise – a clear sign that most drone users take their responsibility seriously and are a credit to the community.

“Drones are here to stay, not only as a recreational pastime, but as a vital tool in many industries – from agriculture to blue-light services – so increasing public trust through safe drone flying is crucial.”

The research also found that mobile apps which provide information on airspace and safety alerts are seen by drone users as ‘crucial’ for regulating the sector and providing a platform for future communication and safety campaigns.

Further to these July legislation changes, the Government has confirmed that there will be more to come, with operators of drones weighing 250g or more being required to register with the CAA and for drone pilots to take an online safety test. These requirements will be enforced from 30 November 2019.

Written by: Kimberley Young

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