The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today launched a consultation on the proposed charge for the UK's new drone registration scheme that becomes law at the end of November 2019.
Last year the UK Government introduced law to require operators of drones weighing above 250 grams to register with the CAA. The registration system is currently being developed with the target of an October 2019 launch.
The scheme will register operators rather than drones. Once registered the operator will receive a unique code that must be applied to all the drones they are responsible for. The entire process will be online.
The Government has provided taxpayer funding for the development costs of the scheme. The CAA, as a cost recovery agency, must then recover the expense of running, maintaining and updating the system. In doing so the charge will be kept as low as possible.
There is no reliable evidence on drone ownership and use within the UK. Therefore, the proposed charge is estimated on numbers registered in similar schemes in the USA and Ireland, matched against the UK population and available research on drone use.
The proposed charge is £16.50 per drone operator on an annual basis. If there is a significant over-recovery on top of the scheme's running cost then we may reduce the charge over subsequent years.
The consultation is open until 7 June 2019 and is available at https://consultations.caa.co.uk/finance/drone-registration
Linked to registration is an online drone safety education and test package. This is also a legal requirement from the end of November for anyone flying a drone, whether or not they are a drone owner. There will be no charge for this.
The CAA will run a significant awareness campaign to alert drone owners and users of the requirements prior to them becoming law.
The CAA supports the safe development of drones in the UK. Drones can bring many benefits, but to achieve those we need everyone flying a drone to do so safely.
The CAA's Dronecode provides advice on how to fly your drone safely and responsibly. You must follow the rules at all times and can find more information at: https://dronesafe.uk/