Welcome Mavic Pilot!
Jump in and join our free DJI Mavic community today!
Sign up

The Future of Drones in the UK (release of consultation Doc')

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
The UK Government have released the document that has come out of the process where the UK population (users & non-users of Drones), were asked to complete a questionnaire and provide feedback to assist in the drafting of future rules and regulations for the use of UAV's in the UK. This makes VERY interesting reading, and I urge all UK Drone pilots especially, to take a time-out and give it a good read - then comment away!! ...

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/769128/future-of-drones-in-uk-consultation-response-web.pdf
 

Attachments

Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: old man mavic

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
Page 11, 2.5 ... Extension of current exclusion zone around 'Aerodromes - to apply to all small Drones weighing more than 250 gram's
NFZ_Aerodrome.jpg Interesting that this is no longer expressed as a 'distance from a boundary' - but as a radius from the airport centre. To that extent - not the full expansion to 5 Km from the boundary - that we thought might come in ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: old man mavic

Ben Kenobe

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
Whilst interesting I really see nothing new in there and certainly nothing unexpected but here's the rub - legislation is futile where the act is deliberate, you think legislation stops people owning guns. It is also singling out one small part of the model flying community - I also fly 700 class helicopters and large aircraft where's the exclusion rules for those - none existent because most of the community flying them are self policing, where do you stop making rules that simply have no effect on the criminal and stupid elements of society.

All that they are doing is telling certain elements that all they need is a throwaway flying object and they can cause mayhem - congratulations - what they should do in such cases is say that airports closed and not say why - terrorist types now know how to cause mayhem at very little cost or risk - well done the media. You don't protect 'society' by disclosing the countermeasures available - that's why in some cases the military are reluctant to help - because that means exposing things that they'd rather stayed 'secret'.

Neither rules nor legislation will prevent criminal activity, they won't even prevent stupidity.
 

old man mavic

Fly safe,Fly responsibly,Fly happy
Premium Pilot
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
1,612
Reaction score
2,740
Age
72
Loc
llanbradach south wales UK
The UK Government have released the document that has come out of the process where the UK population (users & non-users of Drones), were asked to complete a questionnaire and provide feedback to assist in the drafting of future rules and regulations for the use of UAV's in the UK. This makes VERY interesting reading, and I urge all UK Drone pilots especially, to take a time-out and give it a good read - then comment away!! ...

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/769128/future-of-drones-in-uk-consultation-response-web.pdf
an interesting read there are many points to consider but my first thoughts are what type of test, the cost of such a test and how often this will have to be updated i found the part about being a member of a recognised association interesting i am a member of the BMFA and it seems that this is going to be an advantage when the new rules come into effect lets hope that these rules will not be to restrictive and we can continue to enjoy our hobby the only downside to all the changes is that they wont make any difference to someone who deliberately want to flount the rules for criminal or terrorist acts
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ben Kenobe

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
an interesting read there are many points to consider but my first thoughts are what type of test, the cost of sush a test and how often this will have to be updated i found the part about being a member of a recognised association interesting i am a member of the BMFA and it seems that this is going to be an advantage when the new rules come into effect lets hope that these rules will not be to restrictive and we can continue to enjoy our hobby the only downside to all the changes is that they wont make any difference to someone who deliberately want to flount the rules for criminal or terrorist acts
As a member of the BMFA, I too thought that would be a great advantage, and I was :) when I read page 15. Paragraph 2.28 seemed to say that as a BMFA member, I could fly higher than 400 ft! ... But then - I was :( when I followed the link to the CAA doc' and read that this only applied if "the small unmanned aircraft shall not be a rotorcraft with more than one lift generating rotor or propellor."
It looks like you can fly your model helicopter up into airspace reserved for light aircraft - but not a drone ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: old man mavic

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
Whilst interesting I really see nothing new in there and certainly nothing unexpected but here's the rub - legislation is futile where the act is deliberate, you think legislation stops people owning guns. It is also singling out one small part of the model flying community - I also fly 700 class helicopters and large aircraft where's the exclusion rules for those - none existent because most of the community flying them are self policing, where do you stop making rules that simply have no effect on the criminal and stupid elements of society.

All that they are doing is telling certain elements that all they need is a throwaway flying object and they can cause mayhem - congratulations - what they should do in such cases is say that airports closed and not say why - terrorist types now know how to cause mayhem at very little cost or risk - well done the media. You don't protect 'society' by disclosing the countermeasures available - that's why in some cases the military are reluctant to help - because that means exposing things that they'd rather stayed 'secret'.

Neither rules nor legislation will prevent criminal activity, they won't even prevent stupidity.
If you see nothing new there, then you & I had quite a different view of the conditions we were flying our drones under. I must admit, I was looking at this from a point of view of what I'd have to do and be to fly my drone in future - as what you say about those hell-bent on breaking the rules - I agree with 100%.
 

old man mavic

Fly safe,Fly responsibly,Fly happy
Premium Pilot
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
1,612
Reaction score
2,740
Age
72
Loc
llanbradach south wales UK
As a member of the BMFA, I too thought that would be a great advantage, and I was :) when I read page 15. Paragraph 2.28 seemed to say that as a BMFA member, I could fly higher than 400 ft! ... But then - I was :( when I followed the link to the CAA doc' and read that this only applied if "the small unmanned aircraft shall not be a rotorcraft with more than one lift generating rotor or propellor."
It looks like you can fly your model helicopter up into airspace reserved for light aircraft - but not a drone ...
thanks for the info i was thinking more along the lines of having third party cover during flight not to bothered about the height issue still thanks for clarifying
 
  • Like
Reactions: FoxhallGH

Ben Kenobe

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
I guess my point is really that I already behave that way, many of the ideas and suggestions aren't new or are already in place. If you stick to the rules you can't even fly within 15 km of the airport near me - the 50m congestion rule stops you - no road or building within 50 metres isn't so easy to achieve, so many of the rules are already in place in one way or another that would prevent a Gatwick if they had any value.

It's this obsession with more rules, more legislation, they pat themselves on the back and say they've done somehting when all that they have done is make a complex mess that is full of little 'gotcha' items such that even a pilot not intent on braking a rule can inadvertently do so, open to interpretation - rules and legislation aren't the answer but are an easy way for politicians to claim to have acted and the media suck it up like a sponge.

Like commercial aircraft I believe that all 'model' aircraft should carry transponders that can be both read and registered to an owner but this can't be achieved - it is too easy to DIY one of these things so again only the law abiding get hit anyhow.
 

old man mavic

Fly safe,Fly responsibly,Fly happy
Premium Pilot
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
1,612
Reaction score
2,740
Age
72
Loc
llanbradach south wales UK
i guess they was always going to be a difference between UAVs and other model aircraft to placate the traditional model flier but i still think it is going to be worth being a member of the BMFA and will wait till the new rules commence and then see what that means for me personally
 
  • Like
Reactions: FoxhallGH

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
I guess my point is really that I already behave that way, many of the ideas and suggestions aren't new or are already in place. If you stick to the rules you can't even fly within 15 km of the airport near me - the 50m congestion rule stops you - no road or building within 50 metres isn't so easy to achieve, so many of the rules are already in place in one way or another that would prevent a Gatwick if they had any value.

It's this obsession with more rules, more legislation, they pat themselves on the back and say they've done somehting when all that they have done is make a complex mess that is full of little 'gotcha' items such that even a pilot not intent on braking a rule can inadvertently do so, open to interpretation - rules and legislation aren't the answer but are an easy way for politicians to claim to have acted and the media suck it up like a sponge.

Like commercial aircraft I believe that all 'model' aircraft should carry transponders that can be both read and registered to an owner but this can't be achieved - it is too easy to DIY one of these things so again only the law abiding get hit anyhow.
I think that the effect this may have, is to make it 'clearer' to the authorities as to what constitutes an offence in using a Drone the 'wrong way', and therefore make it easier for Mr Plod to ask the right questions of somePilot (and actually demand to see the flight logs!), who has been making a nuisance of themselves with a Drone - and then slap them with an instant fine if need be. Although there are rules in place at the moment, there are wide open holes in regard to what agencies can do with those breaking them.
DJI's drone monitoring AeroScope equipment does exactly what you suggest, in that reads the Drones details like a transponder, but - the risk then of course, is you'll need a drone the size of a small helicopter to carry any sort of generic read-by-all transponder ...
Bottom line is that if Drone users had not already had a track record in causing problems to aircraft around Airports, the Gatwick incident would have been treated as a one-off and would have no effect on recreational or commercial use of Drones - but - just look at YouTube for the track record - and so this is where we are at now - whether we like it or not ...
 

zocalo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
416
Note that this is only the summary of the Consultation responses and not the actual legislation. That is still to be drafted and approved so there's still quite a bit to be finalised, especially in the wake of LGW/LHR, e.g. mandatory FINS may yet return.

My general impression from a read on Friday was that it noted all viewpoints and wasn't over-reaching, striking a good balance between the responses of hobbyists, BALPA, and the BFMA, with their requests for some kind of "special status" on the back of what they already do/require. It also seemed that the responses from drone pilots came across as well considered, reasonable, and open to fair legislation which should reassure MPs that most of us are not the kind of person that is going to endanger others.

Note that there is another piece of drone related legislation currently working it's way though the approvals process (2nd reading is Feburary 15th) that only applies to drones over 5kg, so don't mix them up! I mention this because I know some UK posters here are also members of the BFMA and as such may fly larger aircraft that may want to look into this as well.

Whether this consultation will result in an entirely new piece of legislation or be tacked onto that I'm not sure, but there is definitely nothing formal for it yet. Either way, granting new police powers is almost certainly going to be a separate matter, and will likely happen much quicker than any changes to the ANO, etc. coming out of this or Peter Bone's Private Member's Bill.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FoxhallGH

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
Whether this consultation will result in an entirely new piece of legislation or be tacked onto that I'm not sure, but there is definitely nothing formal for it yet. Either way, granting new police powers is almost certainly going to be a separate matter, and will likely happen much quicker than any changes to the ANO, etc. coming out of this or Peter Bone's Private Member's Bill.
It's hard to see how the Police are going to get anything in the way of 'new powers' 'till November when we have to get our on-line registration/certification (whatever it will be called). As most of the recommendations rely on drone users being able to produce documentation based on that reg'/cert' process. That won't stop all the C-UAV stuff going on though!
 
  • Like
Reactions: old man mavic

zocalo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
416
Granting the police new powers doesn't have to happen all at the same time, and can happen very quickly when required.

Powers relating to proof of registration/certification will definitely have to wait until November (or whenever the system actually goes live), while others could be put into place sooner. Granting police powers and creating new statutes have different processes, so if they happen at the same time it's only because they were both given the same "go-live" date.

I tend to agree though - introducing stuff piecemeal will probably just cause more confusion about what pilots can/can't do and when, which probably isn't a good idea. Lack of clarity and poor communication/eduction of the restrictions were raised in the comments, "igorance of the law being no excuse" not withstanding, so that is definitely something they should be taking into account.

Personally, I think the best approach would be to introduce the police powers and new regulations all at the same time, and combined with an update to the Drone Code when the cert/reg. scheme becomes mandatory. Some of the search, seizure, and evidence capture type stuff could come easily in sooner, provided it's linked to activity that's already covered by statute, like breaching an NFZ. Whether it will or not will probably depend on how much pressure there is to be seen to be doing something, which will likely increase if there are any more LGW/LHR type incidents.

I also think C-UAV is entirely independent of all that, and will likely happen ASAP at the expense of the airport operators (until they can pass the costs downstream, anyway). Mostly that's because airports are private commercial operations and no airport operator wants to be suffer the consequences now it's been demonstrated to be an effective tool that could be used by far more malicious actors than irresponsible drone pilots. The government will probably need to set some operational guidelines and minimum requirements at some point though, rather than rely entirely on self regulation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FoxhallGH

Ben Kenobe

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
I'd love to see some common sense applied, as the document says though things need to be clear and unambiguous, there's the challenge not just from a documentation perspective but an education perspective of both enforcers and the public - many of those breaking the rules simply don't see anything wrong in what they're doing.

Whilst I wouldn't suggest that YouTube censor things more than they do I think that they should prohibit monetisation of video that's considered inappropriate even from 'drone' footage without simply banning all.

The 'igorance of the law being no excuse' phrase is such a BS phrase, if law was so black and white we wouldn't need so many lawyers, EVERYONE in the UK is ignorant of the law - there is just too much of it going back hundreds of years to claim otherwise.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FoxhallGH

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
I'd love to see some common sense applied, as the document says though things need to be clear and unambiguous, there's the challenge not just from a documentation perspective but an education perspective of both enforcers and the public - many of those breaking the rules simply don't see anything wrong in what they're doing.

Whilst I wouldn't suggest that YouTube censor things more than they do I think that they should prohibit monetisation of video that's considered inappropriate even from 'drone' footage without simply banning all.

The 'igorance of the law being no excuse' phrase is such a BS phrase, if law was so black and white we wouldn't need so many lawyers, EVERYONE in the UK is ignorant of the law - there is just too much of it going back hundreds of years to claim otherwise.
I think it would be one step along the way, if [all] Drone manufacturers were to voluntarily add proviso's to their advertising. The glossy advertising vid's just show young care-free people launching the drone [apparently] wherever they feel like. If there was a couple of seconds of ... "Rules and regulations for the safe and legal use of Drones apply in your area - please see www.dronesafe.co.uk" ... or something like ... then it may go a little way toward getting rid of this 'fly first and read the manuals later' attitude.
 
Last edited:

zocalo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
416
The 'igorance of the law being no excuse' phrase is such a BS phrase, if law was so black and white we wouldn't need so many lawyers, EVERYONE in the UK is ignorant of the law - there is just too much of it going back hundreds of years to claim otherwise.
That was my point. The government has just got numerous comments back claiming that their communication was unclear and people were unsure of the requirements of legislation. If they release updated legislation piecemeal and fail to communicate it properly they're just asking for future prosecutions to be blown out of the water on a technicality by a "Mr. Loophole" type lawyer. That benefits no one - imagine if that happened in the aftermath of an LGW style incident - so the new legislation must be communicated clearly and unambiguously, e.g. Drone Code v2.0.
 

zocalo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
444
Reaction score
416
I think it would be one step along the way, if [all] Drone manufacturers were to voluntarily add proviso's to their advertising. The glossy advertising vid's just show young care-free people launching the drone [apparently] wherever they feel like. If there was a couple of seconds of ... "Rules and regulations for the safe and legal use of Drones apply in your area - please see www.dronesafe.co.uk" ... or something like ... then it may go a little way toward getting rid of this 'fly first and read the manuals later' attitude.
Not sure if it's universal, but I got a simple flyer that included the Drone Code "poster" on one side in my M2P's shipping box that was added by my supplier and provided just that. That was a pretty good starting point for a complete n00b, and DJI obviously also requires you to complete the basic test when you first start their app - I assume most (all?) other vendors have something similar? Then there's all the press coverage and other references to the legal requirements, so you'd have to be pretty ignorant not to know there were some restrictions in place.

There's always room for improvement, but it does seem like the basic frameworks and necessary processes are already there. I can understand a little confusion over when you can't legally launch and fly outside an NFZ (viz the continued discussion here over statute vs. civil law applied to National Trust overflights), but there is absolutely no excuse for flying at airports and the like. Barring deliberate criminal/terrorist acts to cause disruption, that's not just demonstrating that the pilot is ignorant, but also completely lacking in basic common sense. Courts can ban you from owning animals if you abuse them, so I expect we'll see similar orders regarding ownership of RC aircraft if/when the prosecutions start.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FoxhallGH

Ben Kenobe

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
12
The biggest challenge is the cheaper end of the market for off the shelf 'stuff' - perhaps it is time for the customs and excise people to stop these at the door, whilst I get that this will upset a lot of people the equipment is too easily obtained and too cheap. Then there is the kit market, what do you do for DIY'ers - I was one of those but I think a DIY "drone" needs a whole different registration - basically an MOT for the machine - part of which must be GEO fencing and other safeguards built in.

To drive you must have a license, initially provisional, you take a test to get a license for each vehicle type, those vehicles are subject to 'construction and use' regulation and annual MOT - I think the exact same rules should be applied to anything that flies in the model arena - no full license means you must be accompanied by a full license holder (and they must have held it for at least 1 year).

I don't understand why we must wait until November for registration, as an existing member of the BMFA for my helicopter and fixed wing activities I'm more than happy to register and be tested right now on the Mavic. How far do you go on the test is of course a whole different topic I think - too many pilots rely too much on 'flight aids' - altitude hold etc makes you safer - but also lazy - perhaps I'm too old school though.

That said when I looked at a certain 'treasure hunt' I was a little disappointed as it was clearly encouraging the taking of images that couldn't be obtained in the UK without breaking the rules - so all the clubs and forums like this have a responsibility to slap rather than encourage bad behaviour.
 

DavidJL39

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
16
Reaction score
5
Age
73
Loc
North East England. UK
As others have said, this strikes me as a good outcome following the UK Government’s consultation. I would happily accept a requirement for a flight plan to be filed before take off — the NATS drone assist site seems to be working fine and, provided other pilots have filed their plans,produces an instant alert me to others flying in the vicinity.
 
Last edited:

FoxhallGH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
1,678
Reaction score
1,562
Loc
UK - Suffolk
As others have said, this strikes me as a good outcome following the UK Government’s consultation. I would happily accept a requirement for a flight plan to be filed before take off — the NATS drone assist site seems to be working fine and, provided other pilots have filed their plans,reduces an instant alert me to others flying in the vicinity.
With you on that one - as long as it can be done on the day, and at the time you decide to fly ... As I'd hate to have great weather and decide to go out to fly, but not be able to file the plan for several hours :( Hopefully - we can continue with the likes of 'NATS Drone Assist' which allows spontaneity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: old man mavic

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
64,325
Messages
749,686
Members
91,298
Latest member
spookymulder