VFR Studios pilot with controller

Keeping up to date with the fast moving drone industry

Keeping up to date is vital in the fast moving drone industry. If you fly drones, or are thinking of getting a drone, then checking regularly for legal updates and new guidelines is essential.  The new laws that came into force on 30th May 2018 are evidence that UK governments take drone technology seriously, as is the proposed Drones Bill which is currently being drafted.

For those who haven’t yet seen it, the new laws include:

  • fly height limits of 400ft
  • fly area limits around airports
  • owners will also have to register their drones and take online safety tests

The new laws will in future also require owners of drones weighing 250 grams or more to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and for drone pilots to take an online safety test to increase safety and help keep the UK free of irresponsible operators.

The government do seem to have a positive view on the future of drone technology, good news for operators. According to the UK Government website:

Drones have the potential to bring great benefits to the UK, they already help inspect national infrastructure like our railways and power stations, and are even aiding disaster relief speeding up the delivery of blood. PwC has predicted the industry could be worth £42 billion in the UK by 2030.”

Completed this summer was the first stage of the Nesta Flying High challenge which brought together 5 UK cities (Bradford, London, Preston, Southampton and West Midlands) to discuss drone technology ideas for congested areas. Already, “UAV’s are used by National Rail to inspect tracks and respond to incidents, by the National Grid surveying high voltage electricity networks, and by fire and rescue service to inspect incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. What else could the future hold for inspection by flying robots?” The next phase of this project will end in 2020, and it will be interesting to see how drones may one day operate in our cities.

The UK Government is also to publish a draft Drones Bill any time (Summer 2018) which is expected, among other things, to suggest more powers for police when drones are used inappropriately. Drone companies are waiting with interest to see the recommendations, and the progress of the bill can be tracked on the Government website here

There is such a lot happening in the world of drones -keep checking VFR Studios blog pages for information.

If you have an aerial project that you would like to discuss, please contact us.

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