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Drones in the UK will have to meet new safety regulations

Drone users in the UK will soon have to take a safety awareness course in order to prove that they are responsible enough to pilot drones under new gove...

Callum Rivett
|Jul 24|magazine4 min read

Drone users in the UK will soon have to take a safety awareness course in order to prove that they are responsible enough to pilot drones under new government regulations.

Owners of drones weighing more than 250 grammes will have to register their details and prove that they understand privacy and safety laws in order to be granted permission to fly drones. 

The new safety rules will aim to prevent the numerous cases of near-misses between drones and aircraft, as pilots of commercial flights reported numerous Category A incidents involving drones or UAVs this year. 

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In one such incident, a custom-made drone flew "within the wingspan" of a plane approaching Heathrow Airport for landing. 

Studies have shown that a 400g drone could cause massive damage to helicopters and aircraft, with Brian Strutton of the pilots' union Balpa saying: "Readily available drones can shatter or go straight through an aircraft windshield or shatter a helicopter rotor."

"Such incidents would have catastrophic consequences and pilots have been warning about irresponsibly-flown drones flying too close to aircraft."

Drones currently are restricted by no-fly zones such as prisons and some residential areas, with airports also geo-fenced to prevent the UAVs entering the airspace of aircraft taking off and landing.