Big changes are on the horizon for UK drone owners, commercial drone pilots working in the UK, and the nature of drone qualifications. New rules are to be put in place regarding drone registration, as well as the need for drone qualifications and mandatory safety courses.
Drones have become more popular over the last five years or so for domestic and creative use, as well as being seen as a valuable tool in a wide range of industries. As more and more people began to embrace the drone trend — whether it was for commercial purposes or otherwise — it was only a matter of time before safety issues would arise and tighter regulations would have to be enforced.
The sweeping changes to UK drone legislation will be something that every drone pilot should take note of, become familiar with and take the necessary steps to stay within the new rules. So let’s take a look at the new changes that will be made to the UK drone legislation, along with the growing importance of drone qualifications to stay within those rules.
What Are the New Rules Regarding Drones?
Although this new legislation is not yet in effect, it will spell big changes for the drone world as soon as it comes into force. This is especially the case for drone pilots who use the devices for commercial purposes and now rely on them as their primary source of income. The time frame for the changes is still unknown as the Department of Transport has stated that “the nuts and bolts still have to be ironed out”.
Drones come in all different shapes and sizes, and people who own an aircraft weighing more than 250 grams will be required by law to register it, according to the new rules. Pilots will also undertake a mandatory safety course to demonstrate a clear understanding of UK regulations regarding safety, privacy and security.
Drone qualifications are already a valuable resource for commercial drone pilots, but due to the new legislation changes, they may become mandatory for all drone users.
Why Are the Changes Being Made?
Drones have been used for quite some time for leisure and commercial purposes. But the industry has evolved massively over a short period and, as the technology advances further, the need to maintain safety will naturally increase. This is understandable due to aviation — and all of the safety concerns that go with it — being a lot more complicated than that of land or water-based vehicles. Despite the more advanced nature of drones, drone qualifications are yet to be a mandatory requirement for pilots.
Drones have been responsible for a variety of safety concerns this year, including a disruption at Gatwick airport which caused a runway to be temporarily closed. Whether this was due to negligence, a freak accident, or simply a lack of understanding for the appropriate rules, it has ultimately been a wake-up call for aviation governing bodies.
Also, there has been chatter of an age restriction for drones to be implemented. This would create fewer opportunities for aviation incidents to occur with drones being operated by children. Of course, this probably wouldn’t apply to all drones, as they have become a trendy device for leisure usage. But it would make a lot of sense for bigger, more powerful drones — such as those used for commercial purposes — with the ability to fly faster and higher up.
The Increased Need for Drone Qualifications
Recent safety incidents not only demonstrate a need for tighter regulations — making drone use more exclusive to those that can fly them safely — but also for the importance of drone qualifications and mandatory safety courses. This will not only raise the overall skill level of drone pilots; it will make the drone industry much safer by reducing the potential for accidents or inconveniences caused by drones.
Here at Uplift Drone Training, we have a team of professional drone pilots and aviation experts, all of which with more than ten years of experience in their areas of expertise. This means you will be in the most experienced and capable hands on your drone qualification courses, giving you every chance of remaining within the impending legislation. You will receive the perfect tuition to make sure your knowledge is in keeping with the newest drone rules and regulations.