Drone Safety Campaigns On The Rise In U.K.


Much like the FAA’s Christmas-week safety campaign for those who received unmanned aerial vehicles as gifts, The UK’s aviation regulators sent the message (PDF) to consumers that disruptive or unsafe use of drones could result in hefty fines. The Daily Mail of London reported on Christmas Day that the Civil Aviation Authority said drone users illegally flying their devices over congested areas or near people or structures could be fined up to 5,000 pounds (about $8,000). The report quotes Gerry Corbett of the CAA, who said drones have become more affordable and popular. “We know that unmanned aircraft of various shapes and sizes have been popular Christmas presents this year,” he said. “However, people using multi-rotor devices, such as quadcopters, for fun have to understand that they are subject to rules and cannot be used indiscriminately.”

Drone flying in the UK has caused controversies similar to those in the U.S., such as operators flying devices over sports events. The highest-profile incident there made news earlier this month when the UK Airprox Board, which investigates near-misses, issued a report about an airliner’s close encounter with a drone in July. An A320 pilot reported seeing a helicopter-style drone about 20 feet from the jet while on final to Heathrow Airport. Airprox rated the incident an “A,” meaning it posed a “serious” risk of collision. The CAA requires a permit process for commercial use of UAVs and has cracked down on illegal or unsafe flying.