The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued a statement announcing their revised “Dronecode,” in an effort to help new hobbyist drone operators learn to fly safely.
The new Dronecode is hosted on the UK’s new Dronesafe.uk website, which includes further information and videos on safe operation of recreational drones. The site was developed in collaboration with the drone industry.
The launch of the new Dronecode follows the publication of the CAA’s report on public opinion and drones. Among the reports’ key findings were the facts that while 91% of the public agreed that conforming to the “Dronecode” regulations, only 39% of drone operators had even heard of it since it’s development in 2015.
In an effort to make the code even simpler to remember, the CAA has developed the “DRONE” mnemonic:
Don’t fly near airports or airfields
Remember to stay below 400ft (120m) and at least 150ft (50m) away from buildings and people
Observe your drone at all times
Never fly near aircraft
Tim Johnson, Policy Director at the CAA said in the statement, “Drones have significant potential and the new Dronecode, which forms the basis of establishing a responsible attitude toward drone flight amongst consumers, will help to protect the safety of the wider aviation industry. It will also help those expected to use drones to improve current operations, from farming to traffic, from healthcare to logistics. Ultimately, people must use their drones safely, and responsibly.”
Andrew Sage, at the air traffic control provider NATS, said: “Drones are an incredible, inspiring technology but it’s vital that people are using them safely. With the number of reported drone incidents on the rise, it’s important that people understand their legal obligations and fly safe, having fun whilst ensuring other users of the UK’s airspace aren’t put at risk. We hope that dronesafe.uk will help to achieve this.”
To help promote the DroneSafe initiative, the CAA also launched “400ft Britain” last month. “400ft Britian” is a drone photography and videography competition, held in partnership with VisitEngland. Winners will qualify for “drone-flying holidays” from Phantom Flight School.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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