It’s no more news that the UK government has chosen to adopt the same style of regulating drones usage adopted in certain countries e.g.  USA. Drone operators in UK will have to pay an annual charge of £16.50 under plans to introduce a new registration scheme in the UK. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is consulting on setting up a license fee to cover the costs of operating the new drone registration scheme. From November, drone owners are required to register their information on a database and drone flyers will carry out a free online basic safety check. The plans would surely affect everyone who owns a drone that weighs more than 250 grams (8oz), and only those aged 18 and above would be able to register as the official drone owner. There would be no fee for those who fly the drones but are not registered owners.

According to source, the CAA has launched a consultation on the proposals, with a final decision expected to be released by the regulator in July this year.

The number of drone users in the UK is unknown, but the CAA has estimated that about 170,000 people will register after the regulatory commencement. This new rule simply means who ever owns or intend flying a drone will have to register it first and obtain a code, this code will be applicable to any drone owned and registered by the same person. According to CAA, Failure to comply with the rules would lead to a fine of £1000.

The emergence of the new registration scheme was due to the travel turmoil at Gatwick Airport caused by a large number of drone sightings in the week leading up to Christmas in 2018. Britain’s second-busiest airport was closed for 33 hours, disrupting 140,000 passengers’ journeys. The sightings brought about a large police operation and the Army was at some point drafted into the airport to bring the insurgence under control. The military brought their anti-drone devices which can uncover and deactivate drones by cluttering radio signals, after which it was left at the airport until March 2019.

The incident brought a national matter of concern which left the UK government to come up with a solution to avoid such occurrences again.  

The registration fee and failure to comply fee will deter people a lot from owning drone (carys Kaiser) let alone flying without it being registered. With this rule, the number of drones in the air will lessen and can be accounted for, and if perhaps any drone is seen flying through a restricted boundary, with the help of this registration policy the owner of the drone can be contacted easily informing he/her to avert or face the consequence if they refuses.