Drones are expected to feature heavily on many a Christmas wish-list this year. However, it's critical that while people have fun safety must remain paramount.
We've been educating drone users about the need to be responsible while flying, especially around aviation. Although many use drones for fun they come with a rulebook; rules which are embedded to ensure safety.
Drones have a unique element to them in that having opened the box, charged the battery and got your smartphone configured to control it, you can then take to the skies. No other gadget has this ability.
It's for this reason that the CAA's Dronecode was first developed. It sets out the rules to ensure safe, responsible use of drones to maintain the UK's excellent air safety record. Over the last few months we've been conducting research into the first Code to see how well it has been adopted and we've created a new version to further ensure safety remains as important as fun.
The new Dronecode is supported with an easy to remember mnemonic:
- Don't fly near airports or airfields
- Remember to stay below 400ft (120m) and at least 150ft (50m) away from buildings and people
- Observe your drone at all times
- Never fly near aircraft
- Enjoy responsibly
To host the Dronecode and other drone safety information we've worked with NATS to set up a new website at www.dronesafe.uk.
It's an exciting time to be involved in the growth of the drone market - we want to absolutely ensure people have fun with their own gadget; but we must ensure safety is key. At times like Christmas, when many will be receiving them and enthusiastically unpacking them and taking them out, responsibility can sometimes be lost amid the excitement.
This Christmas, we want to make sure people are aware of the Dronecode before taking to the skies.