The Government is clamping down on nationwide use of unmanned aerial vehicles, both commercial and consumer systems, and has announced it will introduce new regulations to prioritise safe flying next year.
The measures, which were devised by the Department for Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority, Innovate UK, and Baroness Sugg, are designed to place the UK at the forefront of the fast-growing drone industry.
It is also hoped that the new regulations will pave the way for the devices to be harnessed for a range of uses by businesses and public services.
The news comes as funding for a pioneering new drones programme is announced to help cities shape the way this new technology operates and the benefits it brings.
Baroness Sugg, said: “Drones have great potential and we want to do everything possible to harness the benefits of this technology as it develops.
“But if we are to realise the full potential of this incredibly exciting technology, we have to take steps to stop illegal use of these devices and address safety and privacy concerns.
“These new laws strike a balance, to allow the vast majority of drone users to continue flying safely and responsibly, while also paving the way for drone technology to revolutionise businesses and public services.”
Police officers will also be given greater powers to prevent unsafe or criminal use of the machines while new technology could be used to create no-fly zones.
The draft Drone Bill, which will be published next spring, will give officers the right to order operators to ground drones where necessary. Officers will also be able to seize parts to prove drones have been used to commit an offence.