Drone regulation will always prove to be a divisive issue. With so many stakeholders in the SUA community, many of them with vastly different goals, it goes without saying that regulating unmanned aircraft has proved difficult.
As governmental and aviation authorities scramble to keep up with the rapid advances in drone technology and plan accordingly, it has become difficult for some to keep track of all the guidelines currently in place.
We’ve previously created a guide which provides an insight into how drones are regulated around the world which you can read HERE.
Having gathered facts about regulation on a global scale, we set out to see how the drone community feels about existing and proposed guidelines.
Heliguy recently conducted a survey of our customers and trainees to see how people view drone regulations in the UK and beyond. There was a fantastic response, with over 100 participants from a range of industries and backgrounds offering their opinions.
You can see our findings below in the Heliguy Drone Regulation Infographic:
Aside from the results contained within the infographic, we also learned the following:
64% of respondents have read the proposed EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) guidelines but the majority aren’t happy with what has been laid out:
- “[The EASA proposals] could wipe out commercial quad usage in its current form.”
- “The draft proposals are clearly intended to cause upset and prompt a dialogue response. These outrageous proposals if carried forward will destroy the small drone industry and destroy our recreational flying, I’m horrified.”
- “I think for commercial operators these guidelines are too restrictive and will make it very difficult to achieve the goals of clients.”
However, there are those who are more open to these proposed changes:
- “Small changes, don’t have a problem with them, as long as ‘commercial’ is the only approved route for earnings, and height and distance remain the same. Hobbyists don’t need to fly more than 200ft in and direction.”
- “Anything that will more strictly regulate UAV use is a good thing for safety.”
5% of our focus group of drone users stated that they didn’t understand the current CAA guidelines. While this is a small percentage, it’s important to find out what’s causing this knowledge gap. Here’s what the respondents said would help them get a grasp on UK drone regulations:
- “If when you purchased a drone the guidelines came with it.”
“A simpler, no-nonsense version.”
- “Completing a PfCO course.”
We also asked ‘If You Could Change One Thing About Drone Regulation, What Would It Be?’ – here are the top 5 most common responses:
- Registration of drones at the point of purchase
- Mandatory training to ensure safety
- Better, more consistent enforcement of existing rules
- Clearer wording for guidelines, removing all ambiguity
- More leeway (e.g. proximity / night flying) for qualified pilots
If you would like to have your say on the issue, our survey is still live HERE.
Heliguy offers a range of training which provides insights into the current regulations and increases our trainees’ understanding of the drone industry as a whole. You can find out more about our full PfCO course HERE.
Keep checking back to Heliguy Insider for more insights into the current regulatory landscape, opinions from the community and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.