Upcoming Changes to UK Drone Laws and the EASA
UK Drone Regulations are currently set to change on December 31, 2020, and align with those of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in order to allow free circulation of drones with Europe.
The new rules will remove the requirements of PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operations) and whether your operation is commercial/non-commercial, focussing solely on the type of drone and where you intend to fly it. This will lead to some major changes from current regulations and potentially offer great opportunities to carry out missions which would have been hugely restricted previously. In some cases, for example, you will be able to fly much closer to people/buildings and even fly over people which open up many more possibilities for drone pilots.
An Operational Authorisation will come in to replace the PfCO and 3 categories of operations will provide a framework related to the level of risk involved in the flight.
These are Open, Specific and Certified,
- Open Category: Low-risk operations will not require any authorisation, but will be subject to strict operational limitations.
- Specific Category: For medium-risk operations, operators will have to require an authorisation from the national aviation authority on the basis of a standardised risk assessment or a specific scenario.
- Certified Category: In the case of high-risk operations, classical aviation rules will apply.
While it may seem quite a change and no doubt will cause some confusion initially, it means that drone pilots will be able to fly commercially with fewer restrictions based on the risk of the operation.
NOTE: If you are currently operating under a valid PfCO, you are still able to fly under the same permissions afforded by this for the foreseeable future.
Indoor Use of Drones
The Air Navigation Order (ANO) is intended for the regulation of air navigation. Due to the nature of indoor flights, they have no effect on flights by aircraft in the open air. Where there is no possibility of the UAV escaping into the open air and interacting with general aviation they are not subject to air navigation legislation.
If you lose or find a drone, you can help to get your drone back or reunite with their owner by clicking here at Drones Reunited.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this page is up to date and correct (last updated 26th June 2020) Rules and Regulations surrounding Drone Laws are changing rapidly. You should use the information above as guidance and clarify all local laws appertaining to where you are looking to fly and what you intend to accomplish with your drone. Please fly safely and follow the Drone Laws.