The UK government has announced that it has put plans in place to enforce registration for all drones over 250g.
This will apply to every drone currently available from DJI
In addition to the registration of the drone, there are also plans to introduce a 'safety awareness course' for drone owners to ensure that they're aware of all current regulation surrounding their use.
DJI have come out in support of the move.
So what does this mean for our customers?
When will drone registration be enforced in the UK?
As of yet, the government has not confirmed a timescale for rolling out these registrations.
The official quote from the Department of Transport is that "the nuts and bolts still have to be ironed out"
This would suggest that this is certainly not an imminent policy. It's not something we expect to see rolled out in the next few months, giving the government plenty of time to create an accurate process that will protect both drone owners and the public.
Why is drone registration coming into force?
Aviation Minister Lord Martin Callanan said:
Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones.
Increasingly, drones are proving vital for inspecting transport infrastructure for repair or aiding police and fire services in search and rescue operations, even helping to save lives.
But like all technology, drones too can be misused. By registering drones and introducing safety awareness tests to educate users, we can reduce the inadvertent breaching of airspace restrictions to protect the public.
We've heard so many reports of drones encroaching on aviation airspace, but without any confirmed incident involving drones.
As part of this fast growing industry, heliguy™ have always aimed to educate our customers as much as possible to the relevant regulations.
If the registration process is handled correctly, it will help ensure that drone owners are properly educated on the regulations surrounding drone use, while also stopping all drone pilots being tarred with the same brush when a pilot chooses to flaunt the regulation.
What will the safety course look like?
Heliguy feel that the safety courses offered will effectively become a scaled down version of the current full CAA PfCO training course
It's likely to include topics such as:
- Pre-flight checks
- Air law
- Safe pilot operation
- Risk assessments
- Privacy guidance
There is also likely to be a test at the end of the course to give the pilot, and the government, the confidence of knowing that the drone in question will be operated safely and correctly.
A BBC report on this subject also mentioned that there is likely to be a test involved.
Heliguy would suggest that this could be a written test, but could also involve some sort of practical assessment too.
Is drone registration the answer to the drone regulation problem?
This is definitely not a question that can be answered definitively in this post.
But there are a number of outstanding questions surrounding not just the registration and safety training process itself, but also the other legalities of using drones.
Just a handful of these other issues include:
- Will every drone require insurance?
- Will liability insurance be required?
- Will there be changes as a result for commercial operators?
- Who will have access to the registered database of drones?
Over the coming weeks and months, we're likely to see more details emerge on how the registration process will work.
Heliguy will make every effort to ensure that it's well integrated with our purchase process and will offer any relevant any safety training courses if we're legally able to.