Government consulting on future drone regulation
The Department for Transport has published a consultation looking at the future UK regulatory framework for drones.
Today the DfT published a new consultation looking at the future regulatory framework for drones in the UK. At techUK we are fans of drones; they have an incredible set of use cases and deliver economic growth, as seen at our recent conference and could revolutionise transport, industry and public safety.
Like most consultations government stresses the importance of balancing the opportunities of the new tech with how to manage the potential risks, important given the negative public perception of this tech. However we'd encourage government to look at the positive and we're pleased the document acknowledges that drone technologies saved at least 65 lives in 2017-18. Drones (called Small Unmanned Aircraft, or SUAs in the document) will play a big role in the Industrial Strategy, especially around robotics, AI and autonomous transport so it is great the consultation cites the economic case for drones made in the recent PWC report. So how does the government plan on realising this?
The key policy proposal that DfT seem to be hanging their peg on is the development of Flight Information and Notification System(s) or FINS(s) covering all drones exceeding 250g in weight. This will be a framework for drone users to safely share airspace by emitting and sharing information on location, flight paths, users, type data etc with other airspace users and relevant public bodies. This will be delivered probably via an app, built on open standards and compatible with different platforms, drones and ecosystems. Intriguingly the DfT have a section on how to anonymise and make data within the system available to industry to drive innovation and this could be very exciting.
DfT don't have a preferred solution on how FINS(s) should work and are open to ideas on funding, what exactly it should include, how it should be delivered and crucially if it would work best as a single system or a network of comaptible systems delivered by the private sector.
FINS(s) does seem a sensible approach to making sure information is shared and rules are enforced, but it won't be ready unrtil at least 2020 and we look forward to seeing how this is approached. FINS(s) is very much the flagshp policy, but there are other proposals in the document, including:
- A commitment to meeting the requirements of the EU Revised Basic Regulation and EASA Guidance on drones.
- Reaffirming the previously announced drone registration scheme and competency tests.
- The introduction a minimum age for drone operators (they propose various ages, but seem to be leaning towards 18).
- New police powers to mandate drone users to show their registration, land a drone with Fixed Penalty Notices for non-compliance.
- A review in 2019 of the 1 kilometre exclusion zone around airport and aerodromes that comes into force on 20 July 2018.
- A new framework for anti-drone and drone-detection technologies.
- Exemptions for model aircraft flying clubs.
So what next? The consultation runs through the summer and closes on 17 September. Government will then consider the responses and bring forward their porposed outcomes in the form of the Drones and Other Unmanned Aircraft Bill, currently scheduled for 2019.
Latest News from
Bryden Wood: A data-powered collaboration to encourage the adoption of active travel - by making cycling even better30/07/2021 16:25:00
A cyclist swerves. Why? A city planner starts to plot a new cycle route. Where? The majority of cyclists choose to turn left rather than go straight on. What for? A local authority wants to encourage the adoption of active travel and get more people to ride bikes. How?
The future of ethical data sharing: the role of data intermediaries30/07/2021 11:25:00
New report from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation explores the role of data intermediaries in the future of data sharing.
Leading experts urge applying the power of quantum technology to sustainability in new documentary29/07/2021 16:25:00
Quantum Computing Can Serve as a Multifaceted Tool to Help Scientists and Engineers Take on the Challenge of Ensuring a Sustainable Future, Say Industry Figures.
Seven questions to ask when selecting directors for an early-stage growth company29/07/2021 11:25:00
Founder & Managing Partner at Better Boards, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, shares insights into setting up a board and selecting directors in an early-stage growth company.
The National Security and Investment Act28/07/2021 12:05:00
The National Security and Investment (NSI) Act will be fully coming into force on the 4th January 2022.
Preparing a hybrid workforce starts with strengthening security27/07/2021 16:15:00
Guest Blog: Ross Woodham, General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer.
Composable IT: Blurring the Boundaries between Business & IT27/07/2021 14:05:00
Businesses are learning to synthesize and balance a number of divergent goals: Digital natives who are, by nature, dynamic and focused on growth with others who are pursuing a stable and passive strategy aimed at defending their markets; and their physical businesses with the urgency of going digital.
New Innovation Strategy starts a conversation on how to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 203527/07/2021 11:25:00
The Government’s new Innovation Strategy identifies the challenges facing the UK’s innovation landscape before setting out four key pillars to drive a conversation aiming to boost the UK’s innovative capacity.
BT: Boosting customer experience through convergence and connectivity26/07/2021 16:25:00
Over the past 18 months, the telecoms industry has delivered the connectivity needed to power the UK through the pandemic.