Published: Thu, November 07, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

United Kingdom drone pilots have to register their craft before December

United Kingdom drone pilots have to register their craft before December

The country's civil aviation authority is introducing a compulsory registration scheme for all drone owners and users, and is threatening to fine people who aren't registered.

These new drone registration requirements mean that anyone who owns a drone weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to pass an online test and pay a £9 annual fee.

The new DJI Mavic Mini just scrapes under the weight limit at 249g, which is no accident, but most other consumer drones (including the DJI Mavic Air, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, and even the little DJI Spark) need to be registered.

The test will have 20 multiple choice questions, with applicants needing 16 correct answers to pass.

In a bid to soften the blow of mandatory tests and fees for owners, the CAA is launching an accompanying "drones reunited" site, citing research showing that more than one in four owners claims to have lost a drone. Doing so, it hopes, will help reunite pilots with lost drones.

The CAA will then issue a unique code to each drone.

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The CAA study found that drones are most at risk of being lost due to flight malfunctions, with more than half of misplaced drones going missing due to battery loss, poor signal, or a technology failure.

Registration costs £9 which the United Kingdom government argues is a lot cheaper than replacing a lost drone.

But a quarter of the cases involving the pilot made an error.

Registration of drones will cost 9 pounds (11.6 USA dollars) a year and also give access to the Drones Reunited platform which is a new scheme also launched Tuesday.

In September the police said that the drone disruption at Gatwick airport last Christmas, was probably an inside job, with the rogue pilots having "detailed knowledge" of Gatwick when they used two drones to shut down the airport for 30 hours. Anyone who loses a drone must post the details to the Drones Reunited site, while anyone who finds a drone will be encouraged to check the device for a registration number.

CAA assistant director of communications Jonathan Nicholson said: 'The service is about giving something back to the community, helping responsible drone owners and operators to be reunited with lost drones and continue flying.

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