(Pocket-lint) – The UK’s long-awaited plans to launch a drone registration and testing scheme have come to fruition today, and involve anyone with a drone big enough being required to register and take a test in order to fly their drones.
These new drone registration requirements mean that anyone who owns a drone weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to pass an online test and pay a £9 annual fee. What’s more, you need to be 18 or over to own or “be responsible for” a drone.
While children younger than 18 can fly drones, they will also need to complete the online test in order to legally be allowed to fly them. The test is free, and can be taken any time. Plus, the CAA will make an offline version available for those without internet.
Anyone with a drone that fits into this category has until 30 November to comply with the new requirements, but there are exceptions.
If you’re a member of The UK Drone Association, British Model Flying Association, Scottish Aeromodellers’ Association, Large Model Association or FPV UK, you’re exempt from being required to register and take the test before November 30, although further instructions will be communicated to you by your association.
Although it seems – to some – like legal red tape designed to make their hobby less fun, it does come with an additional benefit: Drones Reunited.
As part of its registration plans, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) is launching a service designed to help users find lost drones, and anyone who registers gets access to the service for no additional cost.
While most drones do fit into the category mentioned in the requirements, not all do. For instance, DJI’s new Mavic Mini is 249g, meaning you won’t need to register it if you buy it and won’t be required to take the theory test to fly one.
In order to register, you’ll need to go over to the CAA’s dedicated page. Those who don’t follow the new legislation may be subject to fines.
Writing by Cam Bunton.