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Consultation to discuss safer use of drones across the UK

Baroness Sugg said the Government is holding this drone consultation to ensure the potential of drones is harnessed by the UK, whilst appropriately addressing the risks

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SAFER SKIES: consultation will decide if the laws for drone use need a revamp.

The Department for Transport has launched a policy proposal for the safer use of drones. It will include giving fresh powers to police forces to monitor and penalise offenders.

The consultation will look into:

  • the minimum age requirements for the operation of drones.
  • the 1km flight restriction around protected aerodromes, and whether this is sufficient. 
  • a proposal to mandate and regulate a Flight Information and Notification System (FINS) or just regulate the FINS
  • the powers required by enforcement bodies in order to properly police drone use and penalise incorrect use, including the possible use of fixed penalty notices
  • counter drone technology system proposals

This proposal builds on the legislation made by the Benefits of drones to the UK economy and The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2018, which highlights the necessity for specific drone safety laws and regulations. 

It has been suggested that the social and economic benefits of drones in the UK by 2030 could be as much as £16bn in net cost savings, adding £42bn to the countries GDP, with over 600,000 drone sector jobs.

Baroness Sugg, the UK’s Aviation Minister, said: “Drones present exciting benefits to our society and our economy, but with a small group of people choosing to use them for harm there are challenges we must overcome if we are to prevent them hindering the potential of this technology.

“That’s why we’ve already introduced safety measures like a height limit, and rules around airports, and today we are consulting on how we go further, including extra police powers and a minimum age requirement.”

A new law preventing drones from flying above 400ft and within 1km of aerodromes will come into effect on 30 July 2018.

Those breaching these restrictions will face penalties of up to £2,500 and could also be charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft, which can carry a penalty of up to five years imprisonment.

This consultation closes

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