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New Drone Legislation Proposed for Spring 2018 in UK

New drone regulations proposed for the UK in Spring 2018

Drone sales in the UK, with a few minor exceptions, are currently (pretty much) unregulated. There is no limit to the size, weight or even where you can operate them outside of some general common sense law areas.

This has unfortunately led to a lot of irresponsible usages. This includes idiots piloting them near airports with an actual collision with a plane confirmed earlier this year.

While they can be a lot of fun, it would appear that the irresponsible actions of the few may have an impact on the many. Regulations have been proposed which could significantly alter the way in which drones will be allowed to be purchased and operated within the UK.

If you are, therefore, considering buying one in the seasonal sales, you might want to check the proposed regulations. Particularly if you have your eye on a larger model.

The new proposed legislation for drones

In a report via the BBC, regulations have been proposed in an effort to place drones (and particularly their private sale) under some control.

One of the major implementations of the regulations will largely affect those weighing over 250g. Drones larger than this size will be prohibited from operating near airports. In addition, larger models will be restricted to flying no higher than 400 foot.

There are also proposals for a registration procedure and ‘safety test’ of sorts for the larger models.

Exactly how they intend to police this, particularly the height, is unclear. There are also no indications as to what the penalties for breaking these rules will be. I daresay the police are not going to be wandering fields with a tape measure and set of scales.

There are, of course, some critics of this legislation. They feel that the weight restriction will practically include all craft with the exception of entry-level ‘toy’ models.

While some might feel this regulation will be unfair, I feel that it is a case of the few spoiling it for the majority. Prison drone deliveries in the UK are clearly a major issue. Therefore, this, combined with the regular ‘near miss’ reports by pilots means that at least some regulation is clearly necessary.

What do you think? Unfair or necessary? Do you operate a drone? What regulations would you suggest? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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