As drones become more advanced, countries are implementing new rules. The UK has done so, requiring camera drones to be registered before taking to the sky. You will also be required to register your drone if it weighs 250 grams and above.
The British government has come up with two simple systems to help you figure out if you must get a FlyerID and/or an OperatorID. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at what a FlyerID and an OperatorID actually are.
You can also head over to the UK government’s drone website to learn more about the rules and requirements when flying a drone in the UK.
FlyerID: The FlyerID is the more basic ID that tells the government you have passed a basic flying test, meaning you understand the rules and fly safely. If you are 11 years or younger, a parent or guardian must be present when answering the questions.
OperatorID: The OperatorID is a registration number each person is given, which must then be marked onto the drone. This ID also means you’re responsible for the drone and who’s allowed to fly it. You must be 18 years or older to get this ID.
The weight requirements have been split up into the four categories listed below. To find out which one your drone fits into, you can check the weight of it online and see if it has a camera or not. Depending on the category it falls within, you might have to get a FlyerID and an OperatorID or both or none.
|Weight||Flyer ID||Operator ID|
|below 250g – toy||No||No|
|below 250g – not a toy – no camera||No||No|
|below 250g – not a toy – with camera||No||Yes|
|250g and above||Yes||Yes|
The classmark system follows the same principles as the above weight system. The classmark system is meant to be printed on the drone or the box it comes in. This way, all users who get a drone in the UK can quickly identify which class it’s in by googling what is required. A smart system for the government to adopt.
Note: To correctly view the classmark icons below, please switch over to light mode.
|C0 – toy||No||No|
|C0 – not a toy – no camera||No||No|
|C0 – not a toy – with camera||No||Yes|
On top of the FlyerID and OperatorID, you must still follow all of the rules in place whether your drone is a toy or not. You can read these rules below and on this website.
- Always keep your drone or model aircraft in direct sight
- Never fly more than 400ft (120m) above the surface and stay well away from aircraft, airports, and airfields
- Never fly closer than 50m to people. Even when your drone is more than 50m away from people it is safer to avoid directly overflying them
- Never fly closer than 50m to buildings, cars, trains or boats
- Never fly closer than 150m to a crowd of 1,000 people or more. Never fly directly over a crowd
- Never fly closer than 150m to built-up areas. Never fly directly over a built-up area
- Never fly in an airport’s flight restriction zone
- It is illegal to fly a drone or model aircraft between 250g-20kg that does not show a valid operator ID
Photo: Josh Sorenson