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Drones to be registered and users to sit safety tests under new Government rules

Drones will have to be registered and their users will have to sit safety awareness tests. Photo: ITV News

Drones will have to be registered and their users will have to sit safety awareness tests under new rules to better regulate their growing use, the Government announced today.

Owners of drones weighing 250g and over will in future have to register details of their drones to improve accountability and encourage owners to act responsibly.

Users may be able to register their drones online or through apps, under plans being explored by the Government. The move follows safety research that concluded drones could damage the windscreens of helicopters.

The UK is at the forefront of an exciting and fast growing drones market and it is important we make the most of this emerging global sector.

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.

– Aviation Minister Lord Callanan
Credit: ITV News

The Government worked with the Civil Aviation Authority to develop a new drone code launched last year which has six key principles:

  • Always keep your drone in sight
  • Stay below 400ft (120m) to comply with the drone code
  • Every time you fly your drone you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Keep the right distance from people and property
  • You are responsible for each flight
  • Stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields