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UK drone code simplified ahead of expected Christmas rush

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), responsible for the UK’s airspace and aviation industry, has issued simplified guidelines for the “millions” of people in the UK that already own a drone, or will be getting one next month for Christmas.

It’s more a subtle tweak, rather than a dramatic overhaul, with much of the focus going on turning the key regulations into a handy mnemonic designed to help new drone owners remember the rules.

  • 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

While you might think that a lot of that is common sense, it would seem that the simplification of the rules is indeed necessary, as there have been a number of near-misses with aircraft reported recently. The overhauled drone code website also spells out clearly that drone operators are legally responsible for their drones while in flight and that breaking any of the rules can lead to criminal prosecution.

The changes are the result of research carried out by the CAA around peoples’ attitudes towards drone use. The organisation’s Policy Director, Tim Johnson, says that the revised drone code “forms the basis of establishing a responsible attitude toward drone flight amongst consumers” and will “help to protect the safety of the wider aviation industry.”

You might want to go ahead and bookmark the drone code site if you have a feeling that Santa will be bringing you a quadcopter this year.

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Are you planning to get a drone this year? Let us know in the comments below!