Rogue drone users to face new laws
DRONE users will be required to register and sit safety awareness tests as part of a Government clampdown on rogue operators.
Police will be given greater powers to prevent unsafe or criminal use of the machines, while new technology could be used to create no-fly zones for drones.
However, alongside new laws, ministers are also keen to develop technology allowing the greater use of drones for tasks including deliveries of everything from shopping to human organs.
Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “Drones have great potential and we want to do everything possible to harness the benefits of this technology as it develops.
“But if we are to realise the full potential of this incredibly exciting technology, we have to take steps to stop illegal use of these devices and address safety and privacy concerns.
“These new laws strike a balance, to allow the vast majority of drone users to continue flying safely and responsibly, while also paving the way for drone technology to revolutionise businesses and public services.”
The draft Drone Bill, which will be published in spring 2018, will give police officers the right to order operators to ground drones and seize parts of a machine to prove whether it has been used to commit an offence.
Banning drones from flying near airports or above 400 feet could also be included.
Last month it emerged a drone nearly hit an aircraft approaching London Gatwick, with the jet’s pilot claiming it put 130 lives at risk.
The flying gadget passed directly over the right wing of the Airbus A319, which was preparing to land at the West Sussex airport in July, according to the UK Airprox Board (UKAB).
Under the new proposals drone operators will be required to access information needed to make sure any planned flight can be made safely and legally.
Changes to the Air Navigation Order will be used to introduce the safety test and the registration requirement for owners of drones weighing more than 250 grams.
Meanwhile an initiative is being launched tomorrow which will see up to five cities given support to research and develop drone technologies.