There are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Work is underway to better understand the risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes. Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones. We have also completed a series of public dialogues ahead of a public consultation which will help to inform a government strategy to be published this year. The consultation will look at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options, and the potential for restrictions on purchase and use.
Education of drone users is vital. The DfT is working with the CAA on raising awareness of responsible drone use. This includes the CAA’s ‘Drone Code’ safety awareness campaign, the issuing of safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.