The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has underlined incoming changes to drone regulations ahead of them being implemented from August 1.
At the end of May, the Government published an amendment to the UK Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) which contains its changes to the legislation regarding the operation of small unmanned aircraft.
New rules, which were announced on May 30, restrict drones from flying above 400 feet and within 1km of airport boundaries.
The laws will come into force on 30 July and will require owners of drones weighing 250g or more to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and for drone pilots to take an online safety test to ensure the UK’s skies are safe from irresponsible flyers. These requirements will come into force on 30 November 2019.
Ahead of the July deadline, the CAA has published a new report, Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2018 – Guidance for Small Unmanned Aircraft Users, which details how the changes will impact drone pilots.
All operators currently holding a permission, exemption or approval relating to small unmanned aircraft will need to update all their operating manuals accordingly. This needs to be done prior to any submission of an application to the CAA.
Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister, said that the country is witnessing fast growth in the numbers of drones being used commercially.
“Whilst we want this industry to innovate and grow, we need to protect planes, helicopters and their passengers from the increasing numbers of drones in our skies. These new laws will help ensure drones are used safely and responsibly.”
Meanwhile, Chris Woodroofe, chief operating officer at Gatwick Airport, welcomed the new rules.
He said: “Drones open up some exciting possibilities but must be used responsibly. These clear regulations, combined with new surveillance technology, will help the police apprehend and prosecute anyone endangering the travelling public.”