The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released a simplified ‘Dronecode’ ahead of this years Christmas rush when many people buy new Drones. The revised code is a simplified version of the rules and regulations governing the use of UAVs in the country. The drone safety initiative is being launched in conjunction with the UK air traffic control body NATS and includes a new drone safety website.
There have been a number of high profile near misses and incidents involving Drones in recent months. the new rules are part of an initiative to educate both new and existing users on how to use unmanned aerial systems safely.
Drones are set to be one of the most popular gift items again this year so the CAA is looking to keep pilots flying drones safely as more drones take to the sky this holiday season.
D. R. O. N. E.
The new Dronecode is also the result of one of the first industry reports into drones. The report looked at pilot behaviour, the public’s attitude towards drones, and their responsible use. The research found that 91% of respondents considered adherence to the dronecode extremely important. Similarly, members of the public mostly accepted that UAVs can and are used for purposes that are deemed as ‘worthy’.
With Christmas nearly here, more drones will be taking to the skies in future and so the CAA is advising would-be pilots to familiarise themselves with the updated regulations.
The Dronecode has been simplified by turning the word ‘drone’ into an easy to remember mnemonic. The simple set of rules promotes safe and responsible use of unmanned aerial aircraft and can be seen below:
- Don’t fly near airports or airfields
- Remember to stay below 400ft (120m)
- Observe your drone at all times
- Never fly near aircraft
- Enjoy responsibly
In addition to remembering to stay below 400ft (120m), drone users also have to fly their UAV150ft (50m) away from buildings and people.
Consumers Conscious of Drone Safety
Most drone users who took part in the drone industry report said that their use was mainly for fun. Respondents however acknowledged the potential importance of UAVs in sectors like agriculture, emergency health services such as emergency donor organ transportation, traffic management, and power line inspection.
As mentioned above, the new dronecode is also being launched in conjunction with a new website; www.dronesafe.uk. The website is a result of the partnership between the CAA and the UK air traffic control body NATS and is supported by the Department of Transport, UAV retailers, and other key Drone industry players.
Speaking on the launch of the new Dronecode, Andrew Sage of the air traffic control provider NATS, said:
“Drones are an incredible, inspiring technology but it’s vital that people are using them safely. With the number of reported drone incidents on the rise, it’s important that people understand their legal obligations and fly safe, having fun whilst ensuring other users of the UK’s airspace aren’t put at risk. We hope that dronesafe.uk will help to achieve this.”
The newly released Dronecode targets and covers consumer drone use only. Commercial UAV operators require licensing and undergoing a test before operating. Pilots who flout the rules are being warned that they could be liable to imprisonment. The new dronecode website features the CAA’s simple rules and resources to help drone pilots adhere to safety standards and rules.
Recent incidents have shown that as aerial vehicles that can be used by ordinary members of the public, an educative drive was clearly required. So if you’re looking to get yourself a drone this christmas or are gifted one, head on over the the Drone Safe website to get up to speed with everything you need to know before you fly your new drone.