Drones have gained exceptional popularity in recent years – which means there’s been a lot more in our skies. This has, of course, highlighted a few problems with consumer drone use – such as the widely reported disruptions to Heathrow airport earlier this year.

With this, many new laws and regulations are in the pipeline to make it clear what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to flying your drone – and if you break the rules, you could be landed with a hefty fine, and in some cases, a criminal record. Read on to find out more about some recent changes to UK drone laws.

Registration with the CAA

As of November 30 2019, you’ll have to register your device with the Civil Aviation Authority – also known as the CAA. To do this, you’ll have to complete a safety test online to prove your competence when flying your drone in public spaces or otherwise. If you’re caught flying your drone without being registered after this time, you could be fined up to £1000.

House searches

Another change drone users will see in November is changed policing – law enforcement will now have the power to gain a warrant and search premises if they suspect you have a drone in your possession that could have been used as part of criminal activity.

FPN for “drone offences”

Drone users will soon be able to receive FPN – which are fixed penalty notices – on the spot for “drone-related offences.” This is apparently coming into effect to relieve the current stress on magistrates courts that are dealing with an increasing number of offences involving drones.

If, when asked by a police officer, you can’t produce registration documents for drones that weigh between 250g and 20kg, you could be given a fine of up to £100. This also applies if you can’t provide evidence of registration with the CAA after November, or documents that show you’re exempt from registering for whatever reason.

You can also expect a £100 FPN if you don’t land your drone if a police officer asks you to – so make sure your landing techniques are up to scratch!

Photo: 3D Judges Gavel by ccPixs.com licensed under Creative Commons 4.0