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New UK Drone Registration Laws Coming Into Effect

Drone pilots in the UK will have to register with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), thanks to new laws coming into effect on the 30th November this year. Those who don’t register or fail to pass a compulsory theory test will face a £1,000 fine under new regulations from the CAA.

The new requirements are for drones between 250 grams and 20 kilograms in weight. Whether you are a hobbyist or a commercial operator, you will need to have a valid registration to fly the drone.

During the registration process, you will be required to pass a basic theory test to show you are competent and trusted to fly. Pilots will require a flyer ID, and those who are responsible for the drone must have an operator ID. If you are flying your own drone, you will need both a flyer ID and an operator ID.

Almost all drones are affected by the regulations.

Your drone must be labelled with your operator ID, and it must be visible at all times on the main body of the aircraft. It cannot require a special tool to remove or open parts of the drone to reveal the code, and the writing must be clear and in block capitals that are taller than 3mm. It is advised to use a removable sticker, as your ID may change during renewal.

For commercial organisations, it is possible to register the company for an operator ID. The individual operating the drone at the time would then need a flyer ID of their own.

Pilots of any age can register for a flyer ID, although children under 13 must be registered by a parent or guardian (yet must take the test themselves). Only those aged over 18 are allowed to register for an operator ID.

Pilots will still be required to adhere to The Drone and Model Aircraft Code, ensuring safe conduct in the skies.

Registration for a flyer ID is free, and you can take a relatively simple 20 question test as many times as you like until you pass. Once you have your flyer ID, it is valid for 3 years until you must take the test again.

Registration for an operator ID costs £9 per year, and must be renewed annually on the CAA website.

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