UK Stories July 5

It took a bit of a workaround to hide my ass before I was able to watch the BBC Two documentary Britain’s Next Air Disaster? Drones. The hourlong documentary is presented by former Royal Marine commando, sniper, and now self-proclaimed high-risk adviser Aldo Kane. The term documentary is a bit of a misnomer in this case, as the short film tries to instill a fear of drones among its viewers. Rather than looking at all the ways in which drones can benefit our society, it focuses almost exclusively on how drones can disrupt air traffic at airports, severely damage airplanes in a collision, how terrorists might use drones to attack innocent civilians, and how little we can do to protect ourselves from these unmanned aircraft. Not much time is spent on how drones have saved people’s lives during search-and-rescue missions, aided firefighters (Notre Dame), restored communication networks, helped assess damage after natural disasters and wildfires, and delivered life-saving medication and in the future possibly organs to people in need. Instead, the documentary, produced by Horizon, paints a very negative and one-sided story about drones and how they might impact our society.

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UK Stories June 21

UK database capturing information of drone pilots would cost an eye-watering £4m. The government database would collect the personal information of around 150.000 UK drone pilots. Apart from its very high initial price, the database would cost another £2.9m per year to maintain. The new database would be significantly more expensive than other previously used and comparable databases in the UK. The cost per drone pilot would come down to approximately £16.50 per pilot per year. In comparison, the FAA charges ‘only $5 USD once to register as a hobbyist drone pilot in the US.

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UK Stories April 5

According to safety experts, UK drone incidents rose more than a third in 2018. The UK Airprox board recorded 125 dangerously close encounters or drone incidents in 2018. This number is more a third higher than in 2017 when only 93 drone incidents were recorded. 71 incidents were recorded in 2016. It should come as no surprise that 39 of the 125 drone incidents occurred at the UK’s busiest airport Heathrow.

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UK Stories March 12

UK farmers could face hefty fines for breaking drone rules

UK farmers could face hefty fines for breaking drone rules. According to a rural insurer, NFU many farmers are not aware of the drone rules and regulations that apply to flying their unmanned aircraft in the United Kingdom. Breaking these rule,s unintentionally or not, may expose the farmers to thousands of pounds in fines.

UK Stories February 22

In England, a judge orders the Severn bridge climbers drone to be destroyed. Alexandru Scutaru, 30 had climbed the M48 Severn bridge that connects England and Wales, in an attempt to fly his drone and capture footage for Instagram. The factory worker scaled the bridge despite his fear of heights after his GoPro Karma drone failed to take off from land. The incident took place on December 31st, 2018 and was covered here on DroneDJ

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UK Stories February 20

Drone ‘no-fly zone’ around UK airports to be extended to 3 miles

In the wake of the ‘drone sightings’ at Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, the rules for flying unmanned aircraft in the UK are about to become quite a bit more strict in the near future. For instance, as of March 13th when the new rules will come into effect, no drones or model aircraft will be allowed to fly within 5km or 3 miles of an airfield perimeter. DJI recently welcomed the new UK rules, that includes the drone ‘no-fly zone’ around UK airports.

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