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Pilot registration and lost drone service schemes to be introduced

05 November 2019

Individuals flying drones weighing more than 250g (8.8oz) within the UK will need to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by the end of this month.

Those failing to complete the registration process, which consists of an online test and payment of £9, will face fines of up to £1,000.

In addition to this, the CAA is also launching a service to record the losing or finding of drones, with the aim of reuniting these with their registered owners.

This follows results from a CAA survey that indicates 25% of owners have lost a drone due to a number of issues, including loss of battery power or signal, with technology failures and pilot error also listed.

Those registering their device will get free access to the Drones Reunited service, following the issuing of unique identification codes for each one.

Exemptions for members of five associations have been confirmed, including the UK Drone Association, British Model Flying Association, Scottish Aeromodellers' Association, Large Model Association and FPV UK.

Concerns over the flying of drones have increased during the last 18 months, particularly following the issues experienced at Gatwick Airport in December 2018 when the sighting of drones caused the cancellation of numerous flights and resulted in severe disruption.

They have been used to positive effect by many facilities, however, particularly in conducting external surveys that would otherwise have required lengthy works to be completed to access the areas in question, to assess and prepare for future repairs or remedial action to be carried out.

The launch of the online service will also allow FMs to check that they have contracted registered pilots and devices.

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