Flying Drones in the UK.  Drone Laws and Proposed New Regulations
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Flying Drones in the UK. Drone Laws and Proposed New Regulations

November 7, 2019


Hello, my name is Ben Lovegrove and in this
video I’m going to summarise some of the main points of the UK Government’s 2018
consultation on the use of drones in UK airspace. Many drone pilots, business owners, and hobby
flyers are concerned about the proposals. Feel free to post any questions or comments
below this video and I or someone else will try to respond. The consultation ran from the 26th July to
the 17th September 2018. It received 5,061 responses and the results
were published on 7th January 2019. The UK Government wanted to ask what people
thought about things like age restrictions and whether the 1km flight restriction around
protected aerodromes is sufficient. They also wanted feedback on how drone flying
should be policed and what penalties and enforcement notices should be available to the authorities. They wanted people’s views on the idea of
a pre-flight notification system called FINS (Flight Information and Notification System). And they also wanted to discuss counter drone
technologies. All this was done while keeping in mind the
benefits of the drone industry to the UK economy and the potential growth of the industry in
the coming years. The result of all this is a 97 page document
entitled “Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK” and published by the Department
of Transport. I recommend you read the document in full
so that you absorb it directly, rather than through my interpretation. All I’ve done in this video is to quote
some of the sections that seemed most relevant, but you might have other ideas. You can view and download it at this address: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/drone-legislation-use-restrictions-and-enforcement. The document begins with a foreword by Baroness
Sugg, the Minister for Aviation, who says, “Drones and unmanned aircraft present both
exciting benefits to society, and challenges we must address.” She briefly mentions the advantages and benefits
of UAS but also says, “drones can also be misused, risking safety, security and privacy.” Chapter 1 includes an executive summary, a
definition of a drone (RPAS) and UAS, and further definitions and summaries so that
the terminology is clear and understood. This chapter covers; Benefits of drones, Delivering
the Government’s industrial strategy with drones; Summary of existing legislation on
drones; Tackling drone misuse and raising awareness of the rules; and Future Regulation. Chapter 2 discusses the proposal for minimum
age requirements. At the moment there is no minimum age for
anyone piloting a drone, although the CAA requires a minimum age of 18 years old for
the issue of PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations). The document makes the distinction between
an SUA Operator and the Remote pilot. These distinctions have been formalised in a recent
amendment to the ANO (Air Navigation Order). The SUA Operator is the person who has management
of the small unmanned aircraft. The Remote Pilot is the person who operates
the controls that fly the small unmanned aircraft. It then lists the responsibilities of the
SUA Operator and the Remote pilot and includes a proposal for a minimum age requirement for
SUA Operators. Chapter 3 discusses the restrictions on small
drone flights near protected aerodromes. It describes the Inner Zone of an aerodrome
as the area within and including the aerodrome boundary. It describes the Outer Zone as the area extending
1 km outside the aerodrome boundary. Under the amendment to the ANO that came into
effect on the 30th July 2018 flights of SUA are prohibited under these circumstances: “The SUA operator must not cause, or permit
the SUA to be flown and a Remote Pilot must not fly an SUA in the Inner Zone of an aerodrome
outside the hours of watch of the Air Traffic Control Unit (ATCU) or Flight Information
Safety Unit (FISU) (or if there are no such units at the relevant aerodrome) unless permission
from the operator of the aerodrome and, where the flight is above 400ft, the permission
of the CAA has also been obtained.” “If the flight is taking place during the
hours of watch of the ATCU or FISU, permission must be obtained from the ATCU or FISU. The
SUA Operator must not cause or permit the SUA to be flown and a Remote Pilot must not
fly an SUA (at any height) in the Inner or Outer Zone of an aerodrome during hours of
watch of the ATCU or FISU, unless permission from the ATCU or FISU has been obtained. For
flights above 400ft, the permission of the CAA must also be obtained.” The document then discusses proposals for
extending the flight restriction distance to 5 km but also includes ideas that include
stepped height restrictions in the vicinity of airports. It points out that the CAA will be reviewing
the effectiveness of the July 2018 amendment. Chapter 4 covers the Model Aircraft Flying
Associations & the impact of drone legislation. In this section the review recognises the
differences between model aircraft owners and drone flyers, as well as the differences
in their operation and control. It affirms the organisation and best practices
of model aircraft clubs and associations. Chapter 5 is about mandating and/or regulating
the use of a Flight Information and Notification System(s) (FINS(s)) for certain drone activities
and users. It includes this description: “In line with
this, the proposals being considered below form part of DfT’s longer term objective to
facilitate the management of unmanned aircraft in airspace, often referred to as Unmanned
Traffic Management (UTM).” “UTM is a system designed to enable the
integration of drones into airspace, including that used by other aircraft. There are numerous
opinions and models of UTM, but such a system could potentially enable ubiquitous awareness
for drones or drone users of permanent and dynamic airspace restrictions; awareness of
other airspace users; conflict detection and resolution between drones and other aircraft;
and handle requests for permission to enter or transit through controlled airspace. It
is seen as an important step in realising the full potential of drones, including routinely
and safely flying ‘beyond visual line of sight’ (BVLOS). Then further on it lists three options for
the deployment of FINS, having first described who should have the responsibility of filing
flight plans using this system. Chapter 6 reviews Police Powers Relating to
Drones and Fixed Penalty Notices. In this section it is highlighted that the
Police lack the appropriate powers with regards to two key categories of scenarios: Enforcing
the law which applies to the use of drones, and investigating and prosecuting suspects;
and Dealing with everyday situations, such as car accidents, crime scenes or large event
management where there may be a risk of terrorist attack, or where drones may be used by the
media or bystanders in a manner which is not conducive to effective and safe management
of the incident. It then goes into detail about what the Government
is proposing to do in order to give the Police the required powers, including those to issue
FPNs (Fixed Penalty Notices) for various offences. Chapter 7 is all about Counter-Drone Technology. The document then moves on to the threats
and risks posed by drones and what can be done in terms of detection and neutralising
of drones that are flown illegally or with malicious or criminal intent. And Chapter 8 is a section on Commercial Drone
Scenario Modelling. This final section extrapolates current statistics
to predict the growth of the UAS industry and what impact that would have on drone numbers
per business in the coming decades. So as you can see, the document covers a lot of
ground. But much of what it discusses are proposals that may yet change. If you’re concerned
about restrictions on drone flying then perhaps you should voice your concerns, not just in
a comment below this video, but also in a forum, like those provided SUAS Global. You’ll
find a registration link below this video. Thanks for watching. If you found anything
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  1. Why the 50 metres? that is quite a long way away from any building / person / animal/ structure. 50 foot might be better, bearing in mind that the specified distance is a dome over and around any object etc. and those domes all interact and overlap each other. so 160 foot high and below 400 foot does not give a lot of leeway to actually operate and certainly not to inspect buildings for repairs and damage. people and vehicle come and go within the DANGER ZONE so what happens then? Anyone want to buy my complete DJI set including goggles? I am frightened to use it because of the hate that has been stirred up by the demonisation especially after the debacle at Gatwick which served the end of public opinon against us.

  2. I thought the Drone craze was over why the government involvement, sounds to me like big brother , all the homeless people in this country and their worried about is TOYS.

  3. When i started there were no manufacturers of Multicopters(i refuse to call them drones), no kits, no ready built flight controllers, only self build, and my first multicopter was a Tricopter(3 props) no flight controller, just giro's and everybody that saw it loved it, and i spent more time talking to passers by and dog walkers and kids than i actually spent flying it.
    That was 2008/2009 and now its all ruined, now i get threatened and baited and even attacked for what? FLYING A MODEL AIRCRAFT. Its a mad, mad, world we live in today.
    I put the blame fair and squarely on a YouTuber/FPV'er called Trappy who flew long distance FPV over many major cities and monuments all over the world(including London) with absolutely no regard for peoples safety or privacy, it was also an up yours to any Authority that attempted to stop him, all this posted on YouTube it was a demonstration of Anarchy, and he and his exploits were seen as somehow Heroic. It was obvious to me at the time that "THE MAN" would see this as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick and that they would find a way to stop it.
    It was WAR!! and they(the Authorities) are experts in the art of war. First they stopped long distance FPV by bringing in REGULATIONS that you had to have a spotter and it had to be line of sight, no more exploring tops of mountains or mysterious jungle valley's all stopped in one go, and notice this new regulation became world wide almost over night. This was also about the time when the word DRONE first started to be used, mainly by the Yanks, sorry Americans, and then the term was adopted world wide. DRONE is a very immotive word, and brings to mind Pakistani and Afghani wedding parties being blown to bits. No wonder the general publics attitude to our Quads and Tri's turned to fear. That was when we lost the war, when they managed to turn the general public's view from a pretty(i put LED's all over mine) toy model aircraft to a miniature Spy plane that they imagined could see into their bedrooms and even god forbid bring down jet airliner returning from their holidays in Spain or the Greek Islands. Then the nail in the coffin, the debacle that was Gatwick just before Xmas.
    A few observations that i make that were crucial to the destruction of our Hobby which is just a pale shadow of what it used to be. First, These regulations are not just UK wide they are world wide(with small variations). That to me shows that it was a world wide assault on our Hobby with a lot of money and influence being used to bring into effect restrictions on our freedoms. They used psychological techniques against us by getting US to call our multicopters drones and alienating the public against us, we were our own worst enemy. They, the Powers that be, are terrified of the power that we had in our hands because it enabled us to see(and record) things that we are not meant to, as an example Police misuse of power or brutality.
    Anyway I have had enough, i didn't enjoy the commercialization of our Hobby with firms like DJI selling multicopters that you dont even have to fly anymore, just put in a few co-ordinates and it will fly itself, The pioneering spirit this hobby had, is well and truly gone now, and with so many regulations it makes your head spin, that they are even considering that we have to register a flight plan before we can fly is a step too far. Of course this is so companies like Amazon can profit from the technology that us hobbyists contributed to and made possible. Well they can have it, i for one will not register to follow a Hobby. They have ruined it for me and i am off to search for a new Hobby to replace the one which i enjoyed for 55 yrs.

  4. Good day,
    I am planning to visit U.K. in April and I intend to travel with a DJI Spark, which is a very small and light hobby drone. My intention is to take aerial pictures/videos while visiting open areas, like the Highlands and Northen Islands' shore/beaches. Is there any restriction, considering that I am flying on hobby proposals only?? How could I have a temporary permission to fly in U.K.?? Considering the drones with less than 250 grams, is there any restrictions apart from the existing safety regulations, or anyone can fly with a 250g-drone?? If I respect the safety regulations, may I fly with the Spark?? Thanks for the video.

  5. Fantastic video, a couple of questions I was hoping you could help me with though.

    1. Seeing as I can fly over private land, what are the privacy laws about filming a private property such as a stately home/church/castle. If I keep my altitude at 50m or above then I will never infringe on the 50m rule and most of these places I want to film are not in built up locations.

    2. Can I pull over on a public road and take off from there and fly over private land that is right next to this public road as long as I land back at my car?

    3. I have noticed severely different no fly zones on the different apps, which one should I use? I will give an example that I would appreciate you checking out. On my uav forecast app there are 20 small airports between leek and rugby, but these are not present on the nats app (only 4) or the airmap app (only 8), can I just ignore these small airports? Is it because the other apps havnt been updated (I noticed the nats app hasn't been updated since 2017!!)? This is a huge difference and I don't know which to trust. If the uav forecast app is the one to trust because it has a massive 20 small airports then does this mean that I can't fly in these? Or do I have to get permission somehow?

    Many apologies for the massive amount of questions but obviously these are pretty huge questions considering people who aren't using the uav forecast app might by flying in no fly zones, or like myself who uses the uav forecast app I might be missing out on lots of drone opportunities because I am being too cautious about flying in these small airports radius'.

    Again I just want to say thank you for the vids and I eagerly await your responses to my questions.

  6. Anyone want to buy a hubsan 501s its pointless having drone's now mine brand new I've not even flown it

  7. I want to get a drone but looking on a map for flying drones I'm in a massive blue zone on the border about a couple miles from an airport. It says that it's a controlled airspace, can I fly a drone here ?

  8. Hello, I'm 17 years old and I am planning a trip to UK in June 2019. Can I use my Dji Mavic pro (weight 1,64 lbs) with no any registration or it is necessary to get some license? Just hobby flying, no commercial use.

  9. Chapter 4.. Yeah right. BMFA, LMA SAA and FPV UK were all recognised and were completely ignored by the liars and cheats that put together CAP1775. Model aircraft flown at model clubs are NO threat to a full sized aircraft. Having 100,000 model aircraft pilots names and addresses won't help the police find a single rogue drone operator. So why are they doing this. Who does it help? CAP 1775 now criminalises flying a model aircraft. Absolutely F'king scandalous!

  10. Well still no wiser wish someone would say yes you can buy a cheap drone and fly it as long as you keep under 400 feet and in eye sight and 5 mile away from airports or no you can't you still need to pass a test and buy insurance ect

  11. Big mistake is buying a dji M2P drone that comes with a STUPID and never intelligent battery. These batteries gets pregnant after 9 months of purchase (Battery swells) causing the battery to be ejected from the drone during flight, ending in a crash. dji are so devilish by indicating in their policy that batteries are covered for 6 months only, because they know that at 9 month these batteries are giving birth. And the biggest mistake I did was buying the fly more kit and an additional battery to make it 4 batteries in total. All of the batteries now are swelled up. Mind you that I take good care of my stuff, for the batteries, I always discharge them to 40% if I'm not planing to use for more than 10 days, fully charge and discharge on a regular bases and always stored in a cool place between 15 to 25 degrees in a secure sealed hard case by Nanuk.
    Called dji for replacement, they rejected my request although I have bought the care refresh and the Select member which was never used once…!

  12. Is this kind off height footage now illegal ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEksb0fnuHY)??? This mountain is approximately around 2500 feet mark but no plane would ever fly as close to it like this, so there would never be any chance of contact with a drone.

  13. I have never heard of any member of the public being hurt from a drone dropping out of the sky, or for that matter, being hurt from being targeted by a drone operator. The government themselves, with their war machines, are the only ones that kill and maim people with drones, a lot of them are innocent people, "collateral damage". It's just another tax. All the police have to do is arrest then caution anyone breaking the basic rules, and leave us sensible ones that fly well away from anyone else, alone.

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