Drone users in the UK have until the end of November to register themselves as a drone operator with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and pass an online theory test. Failure to do so could result in a £1000 fine.
However, exemptions have been made for members of ARPAS-UK, the British Model Flying Association, Scottish Aeromodellers’ Association, Large Model Association and FPV UK. In these cases, the associations themselves will collect the registration fee from members and supply their data to the CAA.
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If you aren’t a member of any of those associations, and you use a drone that weighs 250g or more, registration is mandatory. However, you have to be 18 or older.
Registration cost £9 per year, and you can complete the process here. Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an operator ID and a certificate of registration.
You must display your operator ID on your drone, and you can use the same operator ID for multiple drones.
You’ll also need to take − and, of course, pass − a free online theory test on flying safely and legally, in order to get a Flyer ID.
The test comprises 20 multiple choice questions, and you need 16 correct answers in order to pass. You can swot up by reading the Drone and Model Aircraft Code, but don’t worry if don’t pass at the first time of asking − you can take the test as many times as you need.
You can prepare for the test here.
Once you’ve registered and passed the test with, ahem, flying colours, you’ll receive a unique code that you must apply to your drone, and you’ll also gain access to Drones Reunited, a new service that’s designed to make it easier to find a lost drone.
According to the CAA, 36% of 18-34-year olds have lost a drone, as have 20% of drone users aged 35 and above.
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“To take advantage of the service anyone losing a drone must post their details to the Drones Reunited site, while anyone who finds a drone will be encouraged to check the device for a registration number, reporting this to the platform,” the CAA has explained.
“The CAA will then be on hand to act to help ensure drones are returned to their rightful owners.”