The UK has announced new upcoming regulations that will require some drone owners to register their aircraft and to complete safety awareness tests related to drone operation.
The requirements will be implemented for all drones weighing a minimum of 250g / 8.8oz and registration will be possible both online and via apps, though the UK government says it is still exploring potential plans. The tests, meanwhile, will require drone operators to demonstrate knowledge of the UK’s various regulations related to drone usage, privacy, and safety.
The new requirements were detailed over the weekend by the UK government, which explained in a statement that these new measures will “improve accountability and encourage owners to act responsibly.” A recent safety research study is cited as one of the reasons for the planned regulations. In the study, various UK authorities found that drones weighing as little as 400g / 14oz can damage the windshields on helicopters.
Many details about the UK’s drone registration plans are still missing, including how much such registrations may cost, how long the registration is good for, the extent of identifying details the drone operator must provide, and more. The UK’s statement indicates that it is still developing its plans and hasn’t yet established these finer details.
The new regulations will follow the drone code established by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority in 2016. That drone code establishes operational rules for drone owners, including requiring that the drone stay within sight of the operator, that it stay below 120m / 400ft, avoid all things related to airports and aircraft, and maintain acceptable distances from property and people.