The Drone Law public consultation closed on June 7, and the CAA says it will make a final decision on the registration scheme charges on September 16.
The drone registration is set to launch on October 1 2019, and will be a legal requirement under the Air Navigation Order (ANO) from November 30.
From November 30 2019, drone operators of drones between 250g and 20 kilograms will have to register their device with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and take an online safety test. Anyone who fails to register or sit the competency tests could face fines of up to £1000.
Drone Law New Police Powers
Police are also going to be given extra powers in November in the new Drone Law. Officers will be able to “enter and/or search premises, with a warrant, where there is reasonable suspicion that there is a drone and/or its associated components which the police reasonably suspects of having been involved in the commission of an offence”.
They’ll also be able to issue fixed penalty notices (FPN) up to £100 for minor drone-related offences, “as a way to immediately and effectively enforce as a deterrent to offenders and to reduce pressure on Magistrates’ Courts”.
A drone user could be given an FPN for committing any of the following offences:
- Not producing registration documentation, and/or proof of registration for drones between 250g and up to and including 20kg in mass, at the request of a police constable
- Not producing evidence of any other relevant permissions required by legislation, for example if you are a commercial drone operator or have an exemption from the CAA from an ANO 2016 article
- Not complying with a police officer when instructed to land a drone
- Flying a drone without a valid acknowledgement of competency, or failure to provide evidence of meeting this competency requirement when requested
Self Funding Drone Registration
“The Government has provided a significant amount of taxpayer funding to cover the costs of developing the new drone registration scheme up until 1 October 2019,” the CAA explains. “From that date onwards, the costs of running the scheme will be borne by those who use it under the user pays principle. This is because as a statutory body, the CAA has to recover its costs from those it regulates.”
The proposed registration fee of £16.50 was based on the assumption that it would see 170,000 registrations during the first 18 months of the scheme’s lifespan. We will know on the 16 September, if the government and CAA have listened to the public consultation and reduced the registration fee to below £10.
See our previous blog post here to read about the Drone Law consultation process that ran for April to 7 July 2019.
The first part of the law came into place on March 2019 extending the No Fly Zone around airports to 5km. Read about this here.