Christmas drone gifts are set to become a bit more complicated following the release of the draft Drone Bill on 26 November, which plans to make safety tests compulsory in 2018.
Once passed the legislation means all drone users must sit safety tests, flying over 400ft or near airports will be banned, and those operating drones weighing over 250 grams will have to be registered.
According to Rennie Campbell, Director of drone operator Levitate Aerial Imaging:
“The new safety measures are to be welcomed: commercial operations like Levitate Aerial Imaging already undertake detailed risk assessments before every flight, including checking restrictions near airports and other sensitive and congested areas, gaining landowner permission for take-off and landing, and where required additional air traffic permission.
As drones can exceed 40mph and weigh several kilograms there are real risks if something goes wrong or the pilot makes a mistake, so it’s vital that anyone using a drone has the right training.”
The legislation is also a reminder of the importance of using a Civil Aviation Authority authorised drone operator for aerial photography, filming or surveying that has a commercial benefit.
Even using your own drone to take pictures of your house to help sell it could fall foul of the CAA and result in a substantial fine if you don’t have a permission to operate commercially.