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Thoughts on upomming UK "drone" regulations


Soft and Foofy
Thoughts on upcoming UK "drone" regulations

Hi All,

Couldn't find much in the way of discussions on the new "drone" regulations being proposed by UK lawmakers so figured I'd start one.

Currently laws focused on drones and multi-rotors primarily appear to be:
  • Don't fly recklessly or endanger people / property / other aircraft.
  • Aircraft must be directly visible to the pilot (or spotter) without aid.
  • Don't fly above 400ft from the surface
  • Don't fly within 150 metres of congested areas.
  • Don't fly within 50 metres of structures, vehicles, people, animals or other aircraft.
  • Stay away from restricted airspace such as airports.

You could find a few more ones but for the most part those are the big ones. Unfortunately a few more are being added for better or worse.

  • Drones over 250 grams must be registered
  • Pilots must undergo safety tests / have a license to fly
  • Drones must include GPS technology for geo-fencing technology to prevent access to restricted airspace

So... my question is how will this affect race quads. Most people take one look and assume they're a drone not realising there is a difference. On top of that will this overlap into helicopters and planes, where is the line drawn in any of this.

As much as I don't mind registering my RC gear I really think it's a pointless venture which won't stop irresponsible people doing irresponsible things. I can see this being more of a slippery slope to pave ways for more nonsense like we're already used to here on the little island.

There are plenty of articles on the topic but most written with limited info or understanding. Does anyone have any more insight into this, as far as I'm aware there still isn't even a set date for when this becomes law if it does?

edit: Just noticed I misspelled "upcoming" in the title, corrected it now :)

Lia ~<3
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Wake up! Time to fly!
I said it in the beginning here in the states its nothing but a money grab and I will say it again. Registration was the test to see how many people actually have and use drones that are honest and willing to say I use them. From there it will go to a licence thing and once that happens of course mandated insurances will be enforced.

They really do not care about anything else. They want to get as much money from honest people as they can, they want to use that to make the big businesses have to lobby to get space set aside for them which is where the big money and quite frankly questionable monies get shuffled around to politicians and official involved.

Its fact the people intending bad things with these will not be paying anything into the system, criminals will still not comply nor contribute and they know this so the only real conclusion is its a money grab from honest people they know they can abuse. How many building have been blown up by drones.. how many cars have been exploded by drones, how many people have been attacked by drones.. Only the ones done by militaries and governments around the world. Not one hobbyist has used a drone in hate nor anger yet we will be the ones paying the price.


Soft and Foofy
Glad I'm not alone in my feelings. As far as I know there has been no mention of costs to register but I can imagine sooner or later import tax will go up on them and a license will be required and renewed at a cost even for hobbyists. The tests will probably require going to actual certified licensing organisations rather than an online course and test which I can see being a pain for someone like me that lives in the country.

Upon hearing the news last year I was livid because as you rightly point out those that cause the issues won't register the drones, won't play by the rules and will be near impossible to track down to levy a fine because it wasn't registered in the first place. A lot of the reported near miss issues with airports here turn out to be plastic bags. Moreover the test they did to calculate the minimum weight of a drone to need registration consisted of flinging parts of a "drone" at a stationary windshield. Part selection was poorly chosen and the configuration basically made it a missile.

The bit bothering me the most is this will no doubt include quads and the variety of un-automated aircraft that don't have GPS which by some reports will make the quad illegal due to a lack of geo-fencing technology built in.


Wake up! Time to fly!
Best thing to do is start campaigns to make sure every govt official in favor of this does NOT get elected for being corrupt and incompetent. They have no power if they are not in office... there are enough of us to surely make dents in local level elections. Let them know publicly that this will be the way to fight their stupidity and see how fast things get "Rethought"


Soft and Foofy
Will keep it in mind. Currently voting mostly on the smaller parties here so will keep an eye out on which isn't embroiled in the muppetry or further RC regulation :p


Wake up! Time to fly!
Hard part is getting others to vote the same way specially if they have no interest either way in things like RC.