The Civil Aviation Authority has dropped annual drone registration fees from £16.50 to £9.00, following pressure from the industry.
Registration for the CAA’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme will go live on 5th November 2019, alongside the newly revealed fee, and will be legally required from 30th November 2019.
As part of the new scheme, owners of unmanned aircraft weighing between 250g and 20kg will have to register as an operator for the newly reduced fee of £9 per year.
The controversial figure of £16.50 was revealed in April 2019 but it has now been overhauled following and outcry from within the industry.
In a statement on its website, FPV UK, the UK’s association for radio-controlled model and drone flying, said of the changes: “It is down to a combined and sustained effort by the UK model flying associations (including special advisers Cliff Whitaker, and Roger Hopkinson MBE) that we were able to secure the above concessions.
“The (fairly new) Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, should be commended for his decisive input on this (it was absolutely crucial).”
In addition to the fee, part of the registration process will involve free online education that can be renewed every three years.
This education is only required for those who aren’t in possession of current CAA permissions or exemptions for drone operations, such as those related to commercial operators, and model flyers holding a certificate issued as part of a CAA reviewed achievement scheme.
Those who hold current memberships to ARPAS-UK, British Model Flying Association (BMFA), Scottish Aeromodellers’ Association (SAA), Large Model Association (LMA) and FPV UK will not need to register as an operator as the associations will collect fees and data directly in association with the CAA, with permission of the member.