Britain tightens control on drone registration

Daniel Fowler
November 7, 2019

Those who fail or do not register as a drone operator by that date will face a fine of up £1,000 under new regulations from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

With drones taking to the skies at a dizzying rate, the United Kingdom government is stepping in, requiring all drone operators to register their unmanned aerial vehicles and pass an online pilot test.

The UK's long-awaited plans to launch a drone registration and testing scheme have come to fruition today, and involve anyone with a drone big enough being required to register and take a test in order to fly their drones.

The test will have 20 multiple choice questions, with applicants needing 16 correct answers to pass.

At the same time, the CAA is starting a service it hopes will reunite owners with their lost drones.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority said the drone registration scheme was necessary to enable the Drones Reunited platform to be operational.

Lost drones are apparently a "serious problem for flyers, as new research reveals that over a quarter of drone owners (26 percent) have lost a drone".

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The CAA study found that drones are most at risk of being lost due to flight malfunctions, with more than half of misplaced drones going missing due to battery loss, poor signal, or a technology failure. It should be visible clearly without special equipment (so you can't use a QR code, or stick a label inside), be written in block capitals larger than 3mm, be somewhere on the main body that's unlikely to be damaged, and be easy to read when the drone is on the ground.

"The service is about giving something back to the community, helping responsible drone owners and operators to be reunited with lost drones and continue flying", said Nicholson.

Anyone losing a drone is advised to post their details on the Drones Reunited platform, while anyone who finds one is encouraged to check if it has a registration number and enter the details online.

MPs have repeatedly raised concerns about potential drone threats at major events or malicious attacks such as the chaos at Gatwick airport last Christmas.

According to the CAA, the "new national drone registration scheme" will mean that anyone who loses a drone while flying it will be able to recover it.

Every time attempts were made to re-open the runaway, drones appeared once again. The police also reportedly carried out 1,200 house-to-house inquiries and took 222 witness statements in a police operation costing £790,000.

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