Drone users throughout the UK will now have to pass more tests and pay fees, as new regulations come into force.

The new regulations, which come into force on the 30th November, will aim to make the skies safer for both aircraft and drone users.

Under the regulations, operators that have drones weighing more than 250g will have to meet the following requirements:

• Pay an annual fee of £9
• Obtain a flyer ID by passing an online test
• Register for an annual Operator ID, which must be renewed every year.
• Properly label any drones they own with their unique Operator ID.

People that fail the test or do not register before the date of November 30th, may be forced to pay a fine of up to £1,000.

It was in August this year when an incident between a light aircraft and a drone was reported above the skies in Salford.

City Airport and Heliport is an airport based in Salford.

Since the use of drones have increased, they have seen a huge growth in drone requests within the local area. The airport also says that they get around 3-4 applications a week, with drones wanting to fly within their airspace.

A Drone in use at the airport. Image provided by City Airport & Heliport

Nick Duriez, airport director at City Airport and Heliport talks of how he has had to shut down the airport due to drones entering their airspace illegally.

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He recalled an incident that happened over a year ago as he said “we also had a rogue drone fly right over the airfield at around 150ft.

“We had to stop all operations whilst we watched it, and were only able to re-open around 30 minutes later once it had moved away fully”.

Alongside the new regulations, the CAA have launched a new “drones reunited” service.

This allows Drone users to be able to reunite and find their lost drones by identifying their unique Operator ID, placed on their equipment.

The Airport in Salford, also noted that they recognise the benefits of Drones and are keen to facilitate their safe integration into existing airspace, and have used them in the past for building surveys and airfield inspections.

City Airport and Heliport are also planning to hold forums, as Nick Duriez went on to say that “We have even previously held a drone forum at the airfield and are looking at maybe doing another in 2020 to help raise awareness and encourage safe drone use”.

On information for how to meet the new regulations and general information on the use of drones, people can visit the CAA website for further information.

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