The Government has sounded the starting gun in the move towards regulating parts of the drone market, proposing education, registration and tests for those looking to use them.
Its focus is on those drones identified as posing a risk to aviation (those over 250 grams (8oz)) and so safety is very much at the forefront of the messaging and rationale for these new proposals.
Stricter regulation is not unexpected. There have been a number of 'near misses' making national news, and there already is guidance around their safe use through dronesafe.uk indicating key principles are already in play:
- don't fly near airports/airfields
- stay below 400ft (120m)
- keep your drone in sight at all times
- stay 150ft (50m) away from people and property
Its natural then that these principles become more formal/binding as the industry grows. However, as the Department for Transport has indicated, whilst the story has grabbed some headline and discussion space, there's a long way to go in shaping not only what the rules are, but also how they would be enforced in practice.
One to watch.
The Department of Transport admitted that "the nuts and bolts still have to be ironed out".