New drone laws are been enforced across the UK today which carry height and boundary restrictions, with a £2,500 penalty for breaches.
The new laws were introduced last May by the Department of Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority, but came into force today.
Under the new rules drone operators must fly below an altitude of 400ft and are not allowed within a 1 km zone of airports’ demarcated boundaries.
Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg commented in the announcement of the legislation that: “We are seeing fast growth in the numbers of drones being used, both commercially and for fun.”
“Whilst we want this industry to innovate and grow, we need to protect planes, helicopters and their passengers from the increasing numbers of drones in our skies. These new laws will help ensure drones are used safely and responsibly,” she added.
Chris Woodroofe COO at Gatwick Airport praised the law in the same release noting how it “leaves no doubt that anyone flying a drone must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields.”
If a user is found to be operating a drone in a manner that is deemed reckless or negligent they could face up to five years in prison.
More Rules to Come
As part of the same raft of legislation the weight on unregistered drones has been set to below 250 grams.
Anyone operating a drone weighing 250 grams or more will have to register with the Civil Aviation Authority. This registration comes with a mandatory online safety test. The registration laws will come into effect on the November 30, 2019.
Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK said in an emailed statement: “The new law on drones highlights that the technology is moving away from being a consumer toy and towards a commercially viable product for businesses.”
“As the sector becomes more regulated, businesses will feel more secure to explore the use of drones, for example using them to enhance existing security at concerts or events, or secure remote assets.”
“The arrival of 5G will broaden the application of drones still further; and we expect that legislation will continually evolve as the technology advances. To make this happen smoothly, collaboration between the private and public sector will be key. Get this right – with infrastructure and legislation evolving in line with drone technology – and the use of drones in the enterprise space is likely to soar,” she added.