UK to introduce drone registration

London, July 22 (IANS) The UK government has announced plans to introduce drone registration and safety awareness courses for owners of the small unmanned aircraft, the media reported on Saturday.

It will affect anyone who owns a drone which weighs more than 250 grams, reports the BBC.

There is no time frame or firm plans as to how the new rules will be enforced and the Department of Transport admitted on Friday that “the nuts and bolts still have to be ironed out”.

The drone safety awareness test will involve potential flyers having to “prove that they understand UK safety, security and privacy regulations”, it said.

The plans also include the extension of geo-fencing, in which no-fly zones are programmed into drones using GPS co-ordinates, around areas such as prisons and airports.

“Increasingly, drones are proving vital for inspecting transport infrastructure for repair or aiding police and fire services in search and rescue operations, even helping to save lives,” the BBC quoted Aviation Minister Martin Callanan as saying.

“But like all technology, drones too can be misused. By registering drones and introducing safety awareness tests to educate users, we can reduce the inadvertent breaching of airspace restrictions to protect the public.”

Similar registration rules in the US were successfully challenged in court in March and as a result are currently not applicable to non-commercial flyers.

–IANS

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