Article 166 of the UK Air Navigation order (ANO) 2009 requires operators of RPAS to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purposes of avoiding collisions. It also states that an operator may only fly the aircraft if they are reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.
In addition, Article 138 of the ANO 2009, which also applies to RPAS, states that “a person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.” This includes persons within another aircraft, and of course the aircraft that those persons are within. The government expects users to understand and comply with this type of regulation which has been made in place for many years, albeit covering the flight of the more traditional model aircraft.
Safety and Security must always be the overriding priority and both commercial and leisure operators most operate drones responsibly and within the rules. I am able to confirm that with regards to the policing and monitoring of such vehicles the Police has provided initial guidance to constabularies across the UK.
Operators of RPAS that collect personal data must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) unless a relevant exemption applies. The requirements of the DPA are regulated by the independent Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).