UK Drone Owners Must Register Their Drones With CAA Before December 1st 2019
Anyone using an RC Drone weighting more than 8.8 oz or 250g, must register their drone with the CAA, (Civil Aviation Authority), by December 1st 2019. Registration costs around £9, (roughly $11.60), per annum.
Fines of up to £1000, ($1290), would be administered to those who are caught with vehicles above the weight demanding registration.
One of the proposed benefits is that registered drones will be easier to locate if lost/stolen as their registration numbers can be shared through a new “drones reunited” platform.
Applicants to register will need to be over 18 and pass a test which is basically an online quiz that questions safety protocol for themselves and other none drone flyers who may be in the vicinity of those using their drones.
Anyone who is a member of the following organisations is exempt from needing to register with the CAA as they already have to adhere to strict regulations and registration.
- The UK Drone Association (Arpas UK)
- British Model Flying Association
- Scottish Aeromodellers’ Association
- Large Model Association
- FPV UK
What Is The Point?
The point seems to be to make sure that the average person looking to fly what is potentially a dangerous and also intrusive RC vehicle cannot do so without being registered and certified as knowing safety/privacy protocols. That all seems well and good, but as the FPV spokesman Simon Dale responded,
“Registration will do nothing to improve safety or security because bad actors will not register their drones.”
There is logic to that because as with any registration, only those who are law abiding in the first place, or keen to abide by socially acceptable rules/regulations, will register. Those looking to behave inappropriately will likely be acting illegally in the first place and will not worry about a fine and ticking off from a government body.
Should The USA Follow Suit?
I am not sure. It helps to know that unidentified drones, ones not registered to a government/aviation body, are likely to be dangerous and can be stopped just on them not being registered, therefore removing likely risk to damage or intrusion of privacy. There are already a number of laws relating to Drone flying in the USA.
However, those looking to cause damage or disruption, basically break the laws already existing, will not be put off or cowed by such measures. It is therefore going to be easier to identify unregistered RC Drones, as you can now with unregistered cars, meaning they can be immediately tracked/stopped. However if you do not identify them in time….and the chances are they will not be if the end goal for using them is criminal, then them not being registered will likely offer little in the way of convincing them to not act out their plan.
Logging owners with their drones etc is a reasonable plan if you have a major strategy to target and remove illegal drones accompanying that in my opinion. There are so many drones that have been sold over the past decade or so that it seems difficult to see how that strategy could happen. These weaknesses to the strategy in the UK lead many to see this as just another government money making tactic, targeting a popular RC pass time and in many cases business.
Taken from the BBC article here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50293106