Skip to main content

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL5650, tabled on 1 February 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to minimise the risk to aircraft from the use of drones, and whether those steps include a system of registration of ownership.

Answered on

10 February 2016

Drones are becoming increasingly popular and have the potential to bring significant economic benefits, but it is vital that they are operated safely, in a way that does not put members of the public and other aircraft at risk. There are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Work is underway to better understand the level of risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes. We are talking to both the Civil Aviation Authority and airports to find technical solutions to the problems around airport, these include mandated geo-fencing or frequency jammers.

The department is leading efforts with international bodies to develop a stringent regulatory framework focusing on safety. We are currently undertaking public dialogues ahead of a public consultation which will help to inform a government strategy to be published this year. The consultation will look at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options and a database to increase transparency on the use of drones for the general public.

The Civil Aviation Authority is undertaking activities to raise awareness of the basic safety requirements, including an ongoing ‘Dronecode’ safety awareness campaign, issuing safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.