61% of drone owners welcome UK government regulation plans

Robert Hutchins

By Robert Hutchins

July 25th 2017 at 11:56AM
UPDATED July 27th 2017 at 9:36AM
61% of drone owners welcome UK government regulation plans

All privately operated drones in the UK will soon need to comply with new regulations and drones weighing 250g or more will have to be registered.

A study has revealed that 61 per cent of drone owners would welcome a compulsory flying exam, following recent UK government plans to regulate the hobby.

 All privately operated drones in the UK will soon need to comply with new regulations and drones weighing 250g or more will have to be registered.

According to the plans, users will be required to sit safety awareness tests, following mounting concern about the threat posed by drones to commercial and passenger aircraft.

15 drone related incidents were recorded by the UK Airprox Board in June.

Aviation minister Lord Callanan said that the new measures would both improve safety and put the UK in a position to benefit from the growing drone market.

He said: “The UK is at the forefront of an exciting and fast-growing drones market and it is important we make the most of this emerging global sector. Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones.”

According to The Drone Usage report 2017, compiled by DronesDirect.co.uk has now revealed that 61 per cent of drone owners would welcome the compulsory flying exam before taking to the skies.

More than half of drone owners are confident in their piloting skills and think they would pass a flying exam if they had to sit one before doing so alone.

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at DronesDirect, said: “It is encouraging to see the majority of drone owners welcome steps to increase flying safety, and that they are already confident in their level of operating skill.

“We recommend that all drone owners are familiar with the CAA guidelines before taking flight, and fly their gadget in clear open spaces.

“The introduction of electronic registering will also add further reassurance to avid flyers with less than a sixth against this idea. The registry of drones makes sense and is no different in practice to the records currently kept by the DVLA for road vehicles.”

The retailer has since developed the DronesDirect Customer Charter, which details its efforts to provide free drone pilot training, safe flying demonstrations, piloting briefings and best practice guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority.

It is also working with drone manufacturers to provide tailored training events for drone owners.