At first glance, drones may look like a fun and harmless device, but in reality, they can cause all kinds of problems if the correct safety measures aren’t followed. Drone training, as well as other safety practices, will help you become a more efficient drone pilot.
The popularity of drones has risen to great heights, meaning there are more UAVs in the sky than ever before. Although this is fantastic for the growth of the drone industry, there’s no guarantee that those pilots will be skillful or knowledgeable enough to fly safely. Multiple incidents caused by drones at airports have lead to the UK drone laws being tightened somewhat, so if you don’t learn to fly your drone safely and legally, you could find yourself in big trouble.
To make sure you avoid this at all costs, take a look through a few of the key drone rules and regulations, as well as the changes that are set to be made soon.
Following the Drone Code
The UK government and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) worked together to come up with a set of rules that every drone user should abide by to make the skies a safer place. The Drone Code is a basic, yet crucial set of laws that aren’t too complicated or difficult to understand, in theory making them relatively easy for both amateur and pro pilots to stick to.
The following rules make up the Drone Code:
- Always keep your drone in sight: A rule that is just reiterating the need for common sense. If you can’t see your drone, then there’s no chance of you flying it safely and avoiding people or other obstructions.
- Stay below 400 feet (120 metres) to comply with the drone code: This rule may not be so obvious to some people, especially if they’re attempting to see just how high they can make a drone fly. Sticking to this rule will prevent you from colliding or causing any issues for manned aircraft.
- Every time you fly your drone, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Although there’s a stereotype that men often refuse to read the manual, if you fall into that category you might want to bite the bullet and read it thoroughly. Doing so will give you a better idea of how to fly your device how the manufacturer intended.
- Keep the right distance away from people and property: Consider your own privacy for a minute, and how you’d feel if you looked out the window to see a drone hovering outside. Privacy rules regarding drones are significant and should be stuck to. The drone code states that you should stay 150 ft (50 metres) away from people or properties, and 500 ft (150 metres) from crowds and built up areas.
- You are responsible for each flight: As soon as your drone leaves the ground, the responsibility is your own to fly it safely and in accordance with laws. Failing to do so could end up in criminal prosecution and even time spent in prison.
- Stay well away from aircraft, airports, and airfields: The height at which you’re flying isn’t the only thing that can affect manned aircraft. If your drone should wander into the airspace of planes attempting to land, you could cause severe disruption. A perfect example of this occurred at Gatwick Airport, when an out-of-place drone delayed the landing of a commercial flight.
To help you remember the vital aspects of the drone code, there’s a downloadable PDF available here.
Drone Flying Courses Will Be a Huge Benefit
While many drone pilots are self-taught both in regards to practical skills and knowledge, doing so doesn’t compare to drone training, gaining the tuition and advice of a drone expert. Here at Uplift Drone Training, we have a brilliant team of drone experts and former pilots. Not only will you be receiving drone flying courses from the best of the best in the drone industry, but you’ll also get invaluable aviation advice from those who know a thing or two about roaming the skies safely.
If your plan is to embark on a career as a professional drone pilot, qualifications and drone training will be a huge benefit for you to progress as a pro, but also to demonstrate to employers that you know what you’re doing. Having the skills is a great start, but without the knowledge to back it up, you’ll be vulnerable to breaking the law. Drones are fun and rewarding, but not something that’s worth ending up in prison for.
Changes to UK Drone Law
If you have an interest in drones, you’ll need to be aware that the UK drone laws will be changing soon. Due to the abundance of drones out there these days, especially since they’ve been implemented so effectively into the business world, it’s long overdue that the safety measures are to be altered accordingly.
Pilots with a drone weighing more than 250 grams will have to register their device by law. This is to encourage users to be more accountable for their drone and the way in which they decide to fly it. Additionally, a new mandatory drone safety awareness course means pilots will have to prove they understand UK safety, security and privacy rules and regulations.