United Kingdom to introduce new regulations for drone use

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Ministers are also seeking to expand the use of geo-fencing - where drones are programmed not to enter restricted locations, such as prisons or airports. "By registering drones, introducing safety awareness tests to educate users we can reduce the inadvertent breaching of airspace restrictions to protect the public".

British government announced on Saturday its plans to regulate drone use, under which drones will have to be registered and users will be required to sit safety awareness tests, Xinhua reported.

This news comes after a report by aviation authorities detailing drones as small as 400 grams can damage helicopter windshields.

The government added that it will also provide data to manufacturers and safety bodies to ensure safety improvements are being implemented.

The Department of Transport, which funded the research with Balpa and the Military Aviation Authority (MAA), is now exploring best legislative measures to introduce the new rules.

Figures obtained by the Press Association show forces recorded 3,456 episodes a year ago, nearly triple the 2015 figure of 1,237 and more than 12 times the 2014 tally of 283.

The government will also "explore further measures such as increasing penalties, creating new offences, and reviewing the powers available to law enforcement agencies to enforce relevant law".

Amateur drones flying dangerously close to airports while airplanes are in flight have become a matter for concern in recent years, with several near-misses recorded in the United Kingdom and other countries.

It will be mandatory for the commercial operators to complete a training course approved by the CAA and notify the regulator of what drones they have.

According to reports, there have been five near-misses between aircraft and drones in March, bringing the total number to 62 over the past 12 months. "We will continue to promote these and other initiatives to help drone users fly drones safely".

The AUDS works by tracking the drone with a thermal imaging camera before sending high-powered radio frequency signals to the drones, making them unresponsive to the controller.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has said that it is considering an age limit for the test, which could mean that children will be banned from flying drones.

DroneShield estimates that 12 million drones will be in use by 2020.

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