The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has published a report listing new proposals for drone safety which indicate big changes ahead for drone operators. The new proposals include plans for drone registration and operator testing.
The report is the result of a “consultation” by the Ministry of Transport to evaluate the current environment and determine how to move forward with systems and regulations in order to reap the benefits of the drone industry while maintaining safety.
“The Government’s vision is for a society and economy in the UK where drones are safely and properly used in ways that improve the delivery of public and commercial services, where all leisure drone users are aware of the rules and adhere to them, and where flourishing drone service businesses are contributing to the UK economy, creating jobs and encouraging the development of important new skills in the UK,” says the report. “We want to create the right conditions for new uses of drone technology to emerge and grow, placing the UK at the cutting edge of new technologies and capture a significant portion of the global drones applications market.”
Among the proposals is one concerning drone registration, which would seem to mirror that used by the FAA in the US. The proposal “to introduce a registration scheme for all owners and their drones weighing 250g and above, whether bought new or second-hand or home-built…is intended to set in place the foundation for a future framework for drone regulation; create a culture of accountability amongst drone users; aid enforcement; and enable direct targeting of leisure drone users on the law and safe flying. ” An additional proposal suggests electronic identification of drones, which would allow lawmakers to identify drones being misused.
The report also includes a proposal to institute formal licensing for commercial drone pilots, such as the Remote Pilot’s Certification, a provision of Part 107 here in the US. While the UK currently requires commercial drone operators to provide evidence of competency, they do not currently have a licensing system in place. The report says, however, that as international standards for a remote pilot’s license evolve the UK will adopt them and make provisions for a licensing system.