The UK government is planning new drones laws that will mean users will need to take a basic online safety test and also register their drone. Needless to say the main concern is safety and cases where drones might be used for nefarious purposes.
Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg explains that many drones will require an online safety test to check that the users are competent and aware of possible hazards. Police will also be able to search and seize drones if they have grounds for suspicions.
Sugg says: “Under our new laws, users of all but the very smallest drones will need to take an online safety awareness test before they take to the skies. Similar to a driving theory test, the drone test will assess users’ knowledge of the rules and make sure they are able to fly safely. When new drone users have passed their test, both they and their drones will be registered as safe to fly. Thanks to this registration system, owners of drones that are being misused will be traceable by police. And under laws we will proposing to Parliament next year, we will also give police the right to search for and seize a drone where there is a reasonable belief that a crime is taking place.”
The obvious question that springs to mind regards delivery drones and the emerging technology that Amazon is investing in heavily, not least with a facility in Cambridge, UK. To what extent will their plans be impacted by the new regulations? It’s worth noting that the exact details of the drones laws legislation have yet to be revealed in entirety.
But what the Minister seems to be saying is that autonomous drones operated remotely are still not on the cards. Naturally that may change in future, and commercial operators may get special dispensation, but at the moment it looks like they will still need to be human operated from a close proximity.