Drone owners should sign up to register, says Lords committee

UK drone owners should be required to sign up to a register to improve safety in the sector, a Lords committee has declared.

It’s part of a host of new proposals about unmanned aerial vehicles outlined in a new report titled “Civilian Use of Drones in the EU”.

The report comes courtesy of the House of Lords EU Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment sub-committee, which claims drones could be responsible for 150,000 new jobs in Europe by 2050.

This rampant rise in drone usage is not without safety concerns, however, which led to the committee requesting restrictions be placed on drone flight in the UK.

According to the report, a register of drones should be put in place to cover just commercial drone users at first. This register would later be expanded to include consumers as well.

This means flight authorities would be able to track drone users down if, for instance, a drone was used for criminal purposes.

Related: Best drones and quadcopters at CES 2015

There was also mention of including identity chips in all drones, although this wasn’t actually included as a recommendation in the report.

Geofencing was also suggested – that’s the idea of designing drones so that they’re unable to fly over sensitive locations. That includes areas such as prisons, airports and military bases.

The proposals also recommend that drones weighing under 20kg can be used for both leisure and commercial purposes, but that they should not be flown above 400 feet or closer than 50m to people.

Third-party liability insurance was also put forward by the report as a potential mandate, which would see all drone users have to fork out for insurance schemes.

It’s worth noting this report is merely a list of proposals and recommendations, and there’s no saying for sure whether any of it will become legally enforced.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor