UK Gov Science & Tech Drone Committee Publish Findings

UK Gov Science & Tech Drone Committee Publish Findings

UK Gov Science & Tech Drone Committee Publish Findings

UK Gov Science & Tech Drone Committee publish findings today. It could mean some uncomfortable reading.

The UK government science and technology Committee heard evidence from stakeholders, on the the future of commercial and recreational drone use in the UK.

Headed by Sir Norman Lamb MP, chaired the evidence sessions over the summer and the report was published on 11th October 2019.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Read the report in full here. Those that watched the Parliament TV broadcasts, maybe notice that some of the evidence has been “adjusted” for prosperity (what are you?)

Start with the conclusions & recommendations . Here is the highlights..

The Government should conduct a review of the cost of the registration scheme

  • If the Government believes it is appropriate for the fee to remain at £16.50, then they should clearly set out their rationale for the cost and the renewal period should be three years rather than yearly.
  • We recommend that the Government consider a system which allows organised clubs and societies to register as one entity, so as not to financially burden each member.
  • The Government should acknowledge that the proposed registration scheme will do little to mitigate the risks from nefarious drone users who will simply bypass registration and testing.
  • We recommend a sliding scale of penalties for failure to register, starting with a warning, and culminating in a fine and a prison sentence.
UK Gov Science & Tech Drone Committee Publish Findings

Safety Threat to Manned Aviation

  • We are concerned that there are differing accounts within the aviation community about the likely severity of damage of a drone collision with an airplane.
  • There are differing accounts of the number of near misses and the reliability of airprox reports has been disputed.
  • The Committee is concerned that there is no agreed position on the likely consequences of a drone-airplane impact. The Government should complete a substantive risk assessment of the risks drones pose to manned commercial aircraft and publish the findings of this assessment by the end of 2020
  • The Government should introduce temporary drone flight restriction zones around helicopter landing zones. 
  • We recommend the Government make the weaponisation of a drone a specific criminal offence 
  • The Government should ensure that the Drones Bill makes clear that it is a criminal offence for both a private drone user and a commercial operator to capture an individual’s data without their consent
Drone Gloves

Drone Safety Education

  • The Government should mandate that a copy of the Drone Code is provided with each drone sold in the UK.
  •  The CAA needs to monitor the effectiveness and adequacy of NQEs annually and report areas of concern to the Secretary of State.
  • If NQEs do not meet the required standard there must be a mechanism for terminating their right to operate. 
  • The CAA should introduce periodic re-assessment of commercial drone users and a compulsory renewal of their licence to ensure that they are up-to-date with technology advances and legislative changes.

Drone Tech Requirements

  • The Government should ensure all drones, including existing drones, are electronically conspicuous within two years.
  • The Government must ensure that all manufacturers include safety features, such as geo-fencing and electronic conspicuity as standard in their drones.
  • The Government should also ensure that all existing drones are retrofitted with electronic conspicuity within the next two years.
  • It should be a criminal offence to disable such features.
  • The Government should continue to pursue its ambition to stay in the European Aviation Safety Agency after Brexit.
  • The Government should seek to publish its counter-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) strategy by Spring 2020 and this should include clarifications on whether the Government intends to amend legislation to enable certain organisations such as the police to use jamming technologies.

A lot to do by 2020?

A lot of recommendations for the UK government to do by 2020. With UK drone registration already delayed you’d be right in wondering where this will end up.

What are you thoughts?