New regulations on flying drones and other unmanned aircraft have taken effect in the UK as of today, which require some pilots to register as operators and pay a small fee.
As of 30 November 2019, drone pilots and those flying unmanned aircraft that weigh between 250g and 20kg will have to register for an Operator ID with the CAA.
You can do this via the CAA’s website, and the fee is £9. However, there are some exceptions. You can claim an exemption if either of the following apply:
- The drone or unmanned aircraft won’t be flown, or will only be flown indoors.
- You’re a member of the British Model Flying Association, Scottish Aeromodellers’ Association, Large Model Association or FPV UK. Members of these are exempted because the associations will register them as they renew their membership.
It’s worth noting, too, that anyone flying the drone must have an Operator ID. The ID is tied to the pilot, not the drone. So if you are sharing an affected drone amongst family and friends, each potential pilot will need to register.
Only people age 18 or over my register for an ID; however, parents may register for children. All registrants will be required to pass a 20-question theory test on flying drones.
What is the penalty for not registering my drone in the UK?
The fine for not registering as a drone operator with the CAA is £1000. However, if you have missed the deadline you can still apply at any time.