The government is to consult on new measures to prevent the misuse of drones, including on-the-spot fines and the ability to seize them if necessary.
The new measures are intended to ensure drones are being used safely in a market set to grow rapidly over the next decade.
Drones have the potential to bring great benefits to the UK, and with the industry predicted by PwC to be worth £42 billion by 2030, creating a blueprint for safe and secure use now is crucial to prepare for the future.
The measures in the consultation, which were launched earlier this week, are part of a wider programme of new drone legislation and will shape the content of a draft drones bill due to be published later this year.
Proposed measures include:
• Police issuing fixed penalty notices to those disregarding drone rules.
• Using new counter-drone technology to protect public events and critical national infrastructure and stop contraband reaching prisons.
• Introducing minimum age restrictions for drone owners in addition to the new tests they will need to take.
• Proposals for regulating and mandating the use of ‘apps’ on which pilots would file flight plans ahead of take-off.
Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister, said: “Drones present exciting benefits to our society and our economy, but with a small group of people choosing to use them for harm, there are challenges.
“That’s why we’ve already introduced safety measures like a height limit, and rules around airports, and today we are consulting on how we go further, including extra police powers and a minimum age requirement.”