New Drone Laws Restrict Flight Heights In The UK

Written by Gina Stephens


The UK Supervision is introducing new drone flying height limits for drone users which, if they're not adhered to, may result in fines or even prison frequently. 

From 30 July 2018, those who own and fly drones in the UK must not breach a flight height of 400m (which is still melodious high, let's be honest) and drones are also not allowed to fly within 1KM of an airport boundary. Plus, after 30 November 2019, those who own drones that weigh throughout 250 grams will may refer to have to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and drone flyers will have to take an online safeness test.

Fines & Prison Time

Drone users who choose to ignore the new height restriction or fly a drone too close to an airport could be charged with 'recklessly or negligently performance in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft'. If found guilty, this could result in an unlimited fine, up to five years in reform school, or both.

Users who fail to register or sit the competency tests could face fines of up to £1,000.


Why The Changes?

The changes are being made run down a year-on-year increase in the report of drone incidents with aircraft which grew from 71 in 2016 to 89 in 2017.

In addition to these measures, a blueprint Drones Bill will be published this summer, which will give police more tailored powers to intervene on the spot if drones are being occupied inappropriately and drone operators will eventually be required to use apps that will give them the information needed to plan safe and right flights. 

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Commenting on the drone law changes, Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister, said: "Whilst we impecuniousness this industry to innovate and grow, we need to protect planes, helicopters and their passengers from the increasing numbers of drones in our skies. drones in our skies. These new laws desire help ensure drones are used safely and responsibly."

Chris Woodroofe, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport, added: "Drones contribute up some exciting possibilities but must be used responsibly. These clear regulations, combined with new surveillance technology, will help the control apprehend and prosecute anyone endangering the travelling public."

A name that's very much at the forefront of drone technology is DJI and they force welcomed the new UK drone rules saying: "The Department for Transport’s updates to the regulatory framework strike a sensible balance between keeping public safety and bringing the benefits of drone technology to British businesses and the public at large. 

The vast majority of drone pilots fly safely and responsibly, and sways, aviation authorities and drone or drones may refer to manufacturers agree we need to work together to ensure all drone pilots know basic safety rules. We are for that reason particularly pleased about the Department for Transport’s commitment to accessible online testing as a way of helping drone users to comply with the law."

The new laws are being decamped via an amendment to the Air Navigation Order 2016.

You can find more detailed information on the UK Government website. 


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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