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New UK Airfield Regs From 13 march

zocalo

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Yep, spotted this news just now as well. The Google-based FRZ Map in the story is a nice bookmark to have for advance planning on your desktop prior to a trip as well.
 

old man mavic

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it was really only a matter of time before some sort of airport no fly zone amendments were made. looking at the info on the maps it does not really impact that much on any one flying safely it could have been a lot worse .like a blanket 5 miles around any airport
 

gnirtS

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Those aren't stupid restrictions. I never liked the 1km from the fence rules - far far too much potential for conflict.
Of course, it'll only apply to users who have drones with geofencing.
 

zocalo

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Thats always been in from November 2019 (was announced last year with the AIPs).
It has, but the linked document provides a much clearer summary of the changes and new requirements than I've seen to date which have tended more towards summaries or consultation reports. Looks like the CAA has been firming up its plans for the November regulation quite nicely and seem to have things on track, although given typical overruns on government IT projects I'm still a little skeptical they'll launch the registration system by October as planned.
 

zocalo

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Those aren't stupid restrictions. I never liked the 1km from the fence rules - far far too much potential for conflict.
Of course, it'll only apply to users who have drones with geofencing.
Actually it applies to all users of drones, regardless of whether they have geofencing or not. Having geofencing just makes it easier to be sure that you are in compliance before you take off (or try to) in an NFZ - assuming the geofencing info is current and accurate, of course.

Agreed on the practicality of the new NFZs though, and definitely much better than simply drawing a circle from the centre of the field that includes the 5km point from the end of each runway.
 
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gnirtS

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What i meant is it'll only affect/restrict people physically with geofenced drones.
If they don't you can have all the laws you want and people can still flout them.
 

old man mavic

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What i meant is it'll only affect/restrict people physically with geofenced drones.
If they don't you can have all the laws you want and people can still flout them.
well we all know that its because of those stupid flyers that all the new regs are being introduced the minority spoiling it for the majority
 

zocalo

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What i meant is it'll only affect/restrict people physically with geofenced drones.
If they don't you can have all the laws you want and people can still flout them.
Sure, if you're going to be deliberate about the violation - but in some cases even DJI's NFZs can be overridden by a pilot that's deliberately looking to break the law. I guess the obligatory car analogy would be that geofencing is equivalent to a speed limiter that keeps you within the speed limit; ultimately, you are still responsible for ensuring compliance with the law, but it's a LOT easier to do that if you have a device that can take care of the basics and just leaves you to make sure it's working and managing any exceptions.

I would also hope that having an NFZ aware drone and being able to show that it was enabled might be sufficient to prevent a more thorough investigation (e.g. having to submit GPS logs, etc.) if you were queried by police or similar about legally flying a drone in close proximity to an NFZ. That does require a certain level of competence from the police of course, but I dare say that will improve over time. Having a printed copy of the Drone Code (and your registration details come November) to use as a reference should you get into such a discussion is - as ever - a good idea as well.
 

Porky

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The new rules don’t affect me in any way but nor did the old ones. So this doesn’t worry me in the slightest. I fly in a class D airspace so if this affects my flying I’ll just fly from a different spot, further away.

But, yep the but word.... you will always get the idiot who will still push their luck and screw it up for us all.;)
 
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gnirtS

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Sure, if you're going to be deliberate about the violation - but in some cases even DJI's NFZs can be overridden by a pilot that's deliberately looking to break the law.
Correct but most of the drone violations are people doing it through ignorance. They are unaware of the laws, don't even know there are laws or think the laws don't apply for them.
This it the majority of "buy off the shelf" drone users. This same group also is mainly breaking the rules out of laziness and have no will or technical ability to modify the drone to allow it to fly illegally in the geofenced areas.
Its these people the new restrictions will work for and prevent most of the issues.
The tiny minority of technically-savvy deliberate law breakers of course won't be affected but for those, hopefully, the new stronger criminal level punishments and fines can be brought in full force to teach the a lesson.
 
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zocalo

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Correct but most of the drone violations are people doing it through ignorance. They are unaware of the laws, don't even know there are laws or think the laws don't apply for them.
This it the majority of "buy off the shelf" drone users. This same group also is mainly breaking the rules out of laziness and have no will or technical ability to modify the drone to allow it to fly illegally in the geofenced areas.
Its these people the new restrictions will work for and prevent most of the issues.
The tiny minority of technically-savvy deliberate law breakers of course won't be affected but for those, hopefully, the new stronger criminal level punishments and fines can be brought in full force to teach the a lesson.
All valid points I agree with, but the key bit in there is this bit: "They are unaware of the laws, don't even know there are laws or think the laws don't apply for them." And that's going to change with this new legislation how, exactly? Chicken. Egg.

Frankly, I'm not expecting the new regulations to change things too much in practice; it really just gives the CAA/police a larger net to catch offenders with and a bigger stick to hit them with if/when they do. A few publicised examples of prosecutions might help with things, but that happens for other similar crimes as well (dangerous driving, for instance) and yet people still commit them on a regular basis. Realistically, while they do need legislation and a deterrant, which is what the new regulations and penalties provide, if they want to actually prevent incidents then they need to adopt a technical approach as well. That means anti-drone tech at airfields and other NFZs like prisons (supposedly now in the process of being procured and deployed), and it means mandating the support of NFZs on drones for sale (and is something DJI will probably be highly supportive of since they already have this tech and some of their competitors do not.)

If, as seems highly likely, the majority of offenders are doing so out of simple ignorance then they're going to continue doing so unless the new legislation is communicated to them somehow, keeping in mind the authorities have very little data on who owns drones and those most likely to be ignorant of the law are also unlikely to be on drone forums or other places where they might find out about the law, and you can't really rely on the media for that. Oh, sure, they'll already know who has a PfCO (a group less likely to be breaking the law anyway), and they'll have a list including non-PfCO holders once the new mandatory registration is in place, but again - you've got to let everyone with a drone know they need to register *and* get them to actually do it when the chances of being caught, especially if you are don't do anything especially stupid, is apparently right around zero if Gatwick is anything to go by. Yeah. Good luck with that.

Time will tell, but if anyone is thinking the new laws and registration requirements are going to be a panacea for people doing dumb things with drones - even after they've had some time for more casual pilots to become aware of them and a few high-profile prosecutions covered by the media - I think they're going to be sorely disappointed.
 
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gnirtS

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All valid points I agree with, but the key bit in there is this bit: "They are unaware of the laws, don't even know there are laws or think the laws don't apply for them." And that's going to change with this new legislation how, exactly? Chicken. Egg.
Because with the new DJI geofencing coming up along with the new regs, even if they're unaware or dont want to follow the rules, most unmodified drones they buy will refuse to fly in those areas regardless of user knowledge.
 

zocalo

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Because with the new DJI geofencing coming up along with the new regs, even if they're unaware or dont want to follow the rules, most unmodified drones they buy will refuse to fly in those areas regardless of user knowledge.
Yes, *IF* they have a DJI (or other vendor with NFZ capabilities, like Yuneec), but that wasn't my point which was the difference between saying there's a law and ensuring awareness of it and compliance with it. It's a very big "if" on the long tail of other cheaper vendors that tend to appeal to more casual fliers, most of which don't even come close to DJI's NFZ capabilities, if they even have NFZs in the first place (a group which I believe still includes fairly major also-rans like Parrot, amongst others). DJI may well dominate the prosumer market and up, but if you're a pilot at that level then there's probably an above average change you'll already be more aware of things like legislation since you've committed to a higher end vendor.

As already said, the problem is people who are ignorant of the law, think it doesn't apply to them for whatever reason, or are deliberately out to break it. The latter will find a way, regardless of laws and technical measures so we're not concerned about them for the purposes of this discussion. Any of the former two groups that own a DJI are probably going to get at least some kind of steer through DJI Go (and as a result will have no excuse if apprehended) which will take care of a lot, but that still leaves a significant number of owners of other makes of drones and DIY builds that don't have NFZs and still have the potential to cause mayhem. You can probably add in however many owners of DJI drones there are that actively try to remove the NFZ restrictions because reasons into that group too, which isn't likely to be all that many in the scheme of things, but is definitely not zero.

The CAA knows who has a PfCO, and UK customs may be able to provide data on how many drones have been imported in total to help judge how well registration goes when the time comes, and DIY SUAVs in the hands of reckless pilots who are also ignorant of requirements is probably a rounding error. However, I doubt anyone can easily provide a realistic estimate of how many drones there are in the UK that simply do not have an NFZ capability, and those are the drones most that seem more likely to be in the hands of people who are going to stray into NFZs through genuine ignorance of the law. And who likely won't even be aware they are required to register them come October too, for that matter. Like I said; it'll help (hopefully a lot), but it's no panacea.
 

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