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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 9437, tabled on 8 September 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) monitor the usage of and (b) prevent accidents involving unmanned drones in airspace over the UK.

Answered on

15 September 2015

The Government recognises that this emerging technology has great opportunities for the UK. However the Government is aware that there are safety and security issues that need to be addressed.

The Civil Aviation Authority has recently launched a publicity campaign called "You have control. Be safe! Be legal!’’  which is aimed at raising awareness of the general public, at the point of purchase, about their responsibilities as the unmanned aircraft operator.

The Government is currently talking to industry partners about the development of an online application to track and manage small drones. The Government has received several proposals for such an application, but the development of this technology is still at an embryonic stage.

The Government is also in early discussions with international partners about a drone traffic management system, and it is hoped that those discussions will lead to UK involvement in the development of that system and the participation of UK industry in future trials to test the robustness of the technology. Some drones are already equipped with ‘geo-fencing’ to prevent operation in controlled airspace.

There will be a public consultation on drones in spring 2016. This will give the public a chance to engage on these, and other, important issues concerning drones.