As a regular drone flyer I took great interest in reading the news that broke a couple of days ago about the UK governments plans the introduce new rules and regulations regarding drone usage.
Basically it means anyone using a drone (or quadcopter more commonly) over 250g will need to comply with new regulations.
This covers most aircraft available from popular manufacturer DJI. So the legislation will impact many users.
The reason for the new regulations is apparently to increase safety and awareness The drone safety awareness test will involve potential flyers having to “prove that they understand UK safety, security and privacy regulations”
Now I have no issue with people being made aware. The issue is that currently the CAA states you should fly by the drone code (e.g. Max altitude 400ft and in visual line of sight) but people often ignore these warnings and a new course or test won’t fix this.
There is talk of DJI adding more layers to stop untrained pilots taking off. But it’s not hard to see how an alternative app will be developed to allow you to bypass said restrictions.
Unfortunately the issue I have is the main reason people are calling for this is to reduce the number of “accidental” invasions of airspace close to airports, above the allowed max altitude etc. But in reality these invasions are normally planned to get footage people are after. There are many examples across the world of this (including the UK) on YouTube.
So what is the answer?
Well simply put, there isn’t one. We are now in a situation where thousands of devices are already in people’s hands (with many not linked to the DJI ecosystem and not restricted via geo-fencing) with no way of regulating them.
The real losers here will be the law abiding pilots who respect the current restrictions and rules. The ones who currently pay no attention to these won’t pay attention to the new ones.
Are you a drone pilot? What are you thoughts?