A change is coming to how you operate drones or model aircraft in the UK. As of the 30th November, all users of remote aircraft between 250g and 20kg will have to be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The registration process is due to open on the 1st October and as of the 30th November all drone and model aircraft users will need to be registered to allow legal flight.
There are two categories of people who will need to register: firstly, those who are responsible for drones or model aircraft, ie. the head of a drone division of a company and secondly, people who fly drones or model aircraft, ie. any drone pilots. This includes both hobbyists and people flying for commercial purposes. If you both fly and are responsible for a drone or model aircraft, then you only need one registration to cover both categories.
If you are responsible for drones or model aircraft there are some clear steps to follow:
Firstly, visit the CAA website, www.caa.co.uk and tell them who you are. Next you will need to pay an annual fee of approximately £16.50 after which you will receive your registration number and will be required to label your drone with this number. After completing this process, you will be registered to be responsible for a drone or model aircraft for one year.
If you fly drones or model aircraft there is a separate process to register:
Firstly visit the CAA website, www.caa.co.uk and read the rules, you will then need to pass an online test (which should be relatively straight forward for anyone who has a PfCO). You will need to tell the CAA who you are after which you will receive you Flyer Number. Once you have completed this process you are registered to fly a drone or a model aircraft for three years.
Paul German (RUAS Operations Manager) had the following to say about the new laws: "Following the high profile incidents late last year the introduction of this registration process is a great step for the drone industry in the UK and we must reiterate how important it is that people get themselves registered by the time these changes to CAP393 come into force."
For more information on the changes please click here