The CAA stated that the proposals are based on feedback it has received from multiple government departments, the police, and drone operators themselves.
“We want to make sure that the use of drones continues to safely expand and that, regardless of whether people are flying for fun or commercially, they understand the rules and regulations,” said Kevin Woolsey, Co-Head of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems at the UK CAA. “These proposals will help make the UK’s drone regulations fit for today and for the future. We want them to be clear and accessible for users while making sure they deliver the levels of safety and security required.”
The proposals include:
- Simplifying regulations to reduce complexity by removing exemptions for ‘toy’ drones, and renaming operational categories to reflect the characteristics of operation
- Improving understanding of regulations by requiring operators of drones under 250g to take the CAA’s free online Flyer ID test, increasing the guidance and information provided by drone controllers and displays, and improving guidance material
- Improving drone product standards by implementing a system of class-marking and product standards from 1 January 2026 for all drones intended for Open category use
- Improve airspace security by introducing Remote ID, geo-awareness, and geofencing functionality for certain classes of drone
- Give drone operators more time to adopt class-marked drones – the CAA proposes giving users until 1 January 2028 to make the transition. The agency also suggests implementing more flexible product assessment procedures for manufacturers.
The full document of proposed changes is available online, and the CAA is currently taking feedback from stakeholders until 10 January 2024.
Drones are becoming increasingly popular across multiple sectors worldwide, including the delivery of medical supplies and policing. The UK’s CAELUS drone project conducted a number of medical logistics live flight trials in Glasgow earlier this year.