Registration will be mandated for owners of drones 250 grams or larger after research funded by the Department for Transport, the British Airline Pilots Association and Military regulator the Military Aviation Authority (MAA) found drones weighing 400g could damage the windscreen of a helicopter. They also concluded that it would take drones larger than 2kg in mass to down an airliner.
“Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones,” aviation minister Martin Callanan will announce Saturday, in a statement.
It is expected that larger fines for those flying in restricted areas will be enforced and that a more precise definition of those restricted areas will be expected of manufacturers.
Geo fencing and making drones electronically identifiable so the owner’s details can be passed to police if they are spotted breaking the law have also been discussed.
“Increasingly, drones are proving vital for inspecting transport infrastructure for repair or aiding police and fire services in search and rescue operations, even helping to save lives,” Callanan will announce. “But like all technology, drones too can be misused. By registering drones and introducing safety awareness tests to educate users, we can reduce the inadvertent breaching of airspace restrictions to protect the public.”
More details later Saturday when the Department of Transport releases the full documentation.
We will unpack the paperwork on a special DSTW at 20:00 BST