It’s 2020 and the start of a fresh new year. Many people across the country will have received a drone for Christmas. It’s not surprising as PwC predict that 628,000 people will be employed by the drone industry by 2030. But, how many of them have completed their drone registration?
With the increasing number of drones and the widespread deployment in a variety of industries, it’s not surprising that the CAA and UK government are releasing regular policy updates. As an operator or pilot, it is essential that you keep on top of these changes otherwise you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
New legislation November 2019
The CAA and UK government have now introduced a new drone registration and pilot competency scheme – live as of the 30th November 2019. Enforced by Police Scotland, it is now a legal requirement for all drones to be registered and pilot’s competent when flying a drone weighing between 250g and 20kg outside (note it is not permitted to fly drones over 20kg under this process). In other words, this will account for most outdoor drones. Interestingly enough, DJI recently launched a 249g outdoor drone which sits out with the new registration policies.
So, what does this mean? Every drone owner, be it a person or company, (250g to 20kg) will be required to register their drone for an annual fee of £9. This will make it easier for the authorities to identify drones and track their owners. In addition to this, every remote pilot will need to pass an online competency test. It’s basically 20 questions to identify whether or not you understand enough about the laws to operate a drone safely and legally as a hobbyist. Please don’t confuse this with a PfCO which is a professional approval to operate drones in return for reward such as payment. The 20 question test will therefore support the education of hobbyists whilst also help make it easier for the Police to charge rogue pilots.
Failure to comply with the new drone registration process comes with a £1,000 fine. All drones 250g or over must have the Operator ID (from the drone registration) clearly labelled on their drone which is:
- visible without needing a special tool to remove or open part of your aircraft
- clear and in block capitals taller than 3mm
- secure and safe from damage
- on the main body of the aircraft
- easy to read when the aircraft is on the ground
The drone must only be flown by a person who holds a valid flyer ID which you obtain by passing the online competency test.
Learn more about drone registration at https://register-drones.caa.co.uk/
If you would like one to one drone training, please see here