News Worms
News Worms


Drone licensing scheme to be launched

Drone licensing scheme to be launched

No details on implementation, or a timeline on when the new rules will be in force, were posted alongside the notice, so it remains unclear how long drone owners in the United Kingdom have before they will have to put their names on the list. Nor are there concrete details of how the rules will be enforced. The Government states that it is exploring options such as registration online or through apps.

The proposals, which follow findings that drones as light as 400 grams can damage helicopter windscreens, aim to "improve accountability and encourage owners to act responsibly".

There have been several stories of drone near misses in United Kingdom air space in recent years.

Those who endanger the safety of an aircraft through the use of drones could face a five-year prison sentence.

The government also announced plans to build geo-fencing technology into drones that will prevent them from entering certain airspace.

Drone maker DJI said it was in favour of the measures.

"Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones", said Aviation Minister Lord Callanan.

Callanan said drones are "proving vital for inspecting transport infrastructure for fix or aiding police and fire services in search and rescue operations, even helping to save lives".

Using a 10 metre long compressed air gun, and real drones and drone parts, and various recreations of helicopter components and airliner cockpits, the test were done in a laboratory at the aviation research and testing facility at Farnborough, England.

In the USA, similar regulations were challenged by a model aircraft hobbyist in Washington DC earlier this year, and a court ruled the restrictions placed against him do not apply to non-commercial flyers. Take Amazon, for example; the company announced late previous year their first delivery via a drone, which coincidentally also took place in the U.K. That said, Amazon highlights that safety is their biggest priority.

The scheme will allow authorities to better track the owners of drones which breach restricted areas.

The study was unable to replicate some key factors in a drone collision with an airliner such as the effects of cabin pressurisation.

The government also said it will continue working with the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure the restrictions keep in mind the needs of UK-based businesses that utilise drones.

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