Will litigation against illegal operators in the UK increase or will it continue to appear sidelined by the Police?  The CAA have officially laid the responsibility of enforcing the new rules at the door of the UK’s Police forces.

Essential information to take away from the statements released today:

New laws now in force [30th May 2018]

  • Below 400ft
  • No closer than 1000m from airports

New laws coming into force [30th November 2019]

  • All aircraft over 250grams in weight must be registered

  • Pilots of these aircraft must undertake online tests £5- £10 per UAV (Estimated)

The DFT article states:

“Users who fail to register or sit the competency tests could face fines of up to £1,000.”

CAA Drone Law UK Drone Safe Register

This in combination with the now in force regulations:

“Drone users who flout the new height and airport boundary restrictions could be charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft. This could result in an unlimited fine, up to five years in prison, or both.”

With the impact of Drone technology projected to be worth £42bn by 2030 – equivalent to growth of around £3.5B a year – there are plenty of reasons to get behind these new laws. They will increase the safe operations in UK airspace, and in time increase public awareness of safe use of drones. There is also a lot at stake for those who operate legally, as they will have to undertake the tests and register their aircraft too, come 30th November 2019.

“We welcome the clarity that today’s announcement provides as it leaves no doubt that anyone flying a drone must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields.”

— Chris Woodroofe, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport

This is a decisive and positive move which is welcomed by DSR and it’s members. We expect to see fewer incidents involving drones from here on, as the rules are in effect as of today (30/5/18) will mean drone flight near airports, which put peoples lives at risk, will hopefully cease. We also hope to see greater powers and knowledge imparted to the Police forces of the UK so officers understand the laws and what they can do if they are alerted to a drone operating outside of these laws.