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Safety Test Proposal for Drone Users

It may be compulsory for people with drones to complete a safety test in future.

It may be compulsory for people with drones to complete a safety test in future.

That could be the outcome of a government consultation on strict new drone safety rules.Tougher penalties could also be in place for anyone who flies a drone in a no-fly zone with the possibility of a new criminal offence of a misuse of drone.

The government says drones have enormous economic potential and are used by the emergency services, conservation groups, energy and transport firms.

Aviation Minister, Lord Ahmad, said that while the vast majority of drone users were law abiding, "some are not aware of the rules or choose to break them putting public safety, privacy and security at risk".

There are already a number of strict regulations for drone users.

Leisure drone user, Peter Galbavy, said: "What really annoys me is the different rules for drones with or without cameras.

"It's nothing to do with privacy - it's an assumption that the drone will be much heavier and can drop on people's heads - which is no longer true."

Concerns about safety have risen, however. Jonathan Nicholson, from the Civil Aviation Authority, said: "We do see a rise in the number of near misses reported by airline pilots, and we have had complaints from members of the public about drones being flown too close to them, which the police receive."   

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