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The 30th May 2018 saw the government’s announcement that further drone laws were being introduced as part of their ‘ Industrial Strategy: the Grand Challenges   initiative designed to take drones safely forward into the UK’s future.

These laws will affect all drone users (flying craft over 250g which includes the DJI Spark) from the casual hobbyist to the full time commercial pilot but the good news is that we all have time to prepare.

The CAA have just launched their own consultation survey to allow them to build the necessary systems and procedures to accommodate the new legislation and you can take the survey for yourself by click on this button at the end of this article.

The 30th May 2018 saw the government’s announcement that further drone laws were being introduced as part of their ‘ Industrial Strategy: the Grand Challenges   initiative designed to take drones safely forward into the UK’s future.

These laws will affect all drone users (flying craft over 250g which includes the DJI Spark) from the casual hobbyist to the full time commercial pilot but the good news is that we all have time to prepare.

The CAA have just launched their own consultation survey to allow them to build the necessary systems and procedures to accommodate the new legislation and you can take the survey for yourself by click on this button at the end of this article.

UK Drone Law Changes

The main points of the law are broadly described as follows…

  • Introduction of a 400 foot limit to drone flight
  • Introduction of a 1km flight restricted zone around airfields
  • Pilots will have to register their drones and complete an online safety test in order to be able to fly  – this includes hobbyists as well as commercial operators.

The top two items have already come into operation but the final item, the requirement for drones to be registered and pilots to complete a safety test, will come into force on November 30th 2019.

Breaking the Rules – What Will Happen?

Safe and legal drone operators have long been crying out for stiffer penalties to be levied at those who operate outside of the law and it looks like the framework is in place for this to become a reality.  Flying within the airport boundary restrictions or over the 400ft height limit could leave to charge of ‘recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an airplane’ which carries the potential for an unlimited fine, a prison sentence or even both in extreme circumstances.  Failure to complete the online safety test or register your craft could leave you open to a £1000 fine.

We at DSR headquarters don’t have the final word on whether current PfCO holders will be required to sit an online competency test but it is widely believed that they will be exempt under the grandfather rights of their current qualifications.   It is however almost certain that all drones in your fleet will require registration (whether there will be a cost attached to this is still unclear) and we’ll be keeping an eye on exactly what that means to be able to share with you here as soon as we have the information.

For now, the CAA are preparing with a user survey which you can access using the button below.  Click through to have your say and watch this space for further developments.

Take the Survey