NEWS UPDATE – Drone Users Could Receive Fixed-Penalty Fines!

James Bastable
James Bastable

Photographer, Drone Pilot & Editor - Director at Photos.co.uk

The UK Government will soon be introducing on the spot fines or fixed penalties if pilots are in breach of drone regulations set by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Interviews with the head of UK’s National Police Chief Council’s Counter Drone Team have confirmed that this new penalty will be put in place very soon, although no official date has been set.

What are the Rules of Drone Flying?

UK drone operations are governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They set the rules and regulations for all drone pilots. Below is a summary of the main rules set for flying drone:

  1. Registration: If you are flying a drone or unmanned aircraft weighing over 250 grams, you must register as an operator with the CAA and obtain an Operator ID. Additionally, if you are the pilot responsible for the drone, you need to obtain a Flyer ID.
  2. Drone Categories: The CAA categorises drones into different classes based on their weight. The categories are Open, Specific, and Certified. Each category has different requirements and operational limitations.
  3. Operating Restrictions: The CAA has introduced a set of operating restrictions for drone pilots to ensure safety and privacy. Some of these restrictions include:
    • Maintaining a maximum altitude of 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level.
    • Keeping a visual line of sight with the drone at all times.
    • Maintaining a minimum distance of 150 metres (492 feet) from congested areas and crowds.
    • Avoiding flying near airports, aircraft, or emergency response activities.
  4. Additional Permissions: Depending on the nature of your drone operations, you may require additional permissions or exemptions from the CAA. For example, if you want to fly in restricted airspace or closer to people than the standard operating restrictions allow, you may need to seek permission in advance.
  5. Commercial Operations: If you intend to use your drone for commercial purposes, such as aerial photography or videography for business, you may need to obtain further certification and permissions from the CAA. The exact requirements depend on the specific circumstances and the weight class of your drone.

With over 10 years of flying experience, you can rest assured that the team here at photos.co.uk always follow the rules set by the CAA and regularly check for any updates and new regulations set.

Safe flying everybody!

Information sourced from “interview with Andy Harding, head of the UK’s National Police Chief Council’s Counter Drone Team” and “Civil Aviation Authority – The UK’s Aviation Regulator”

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