The UK Government is to consult on new measures to prevent the misuse of drones, including on-the-spot fines and the ability to seize them if necessary.
The new measures are intended to ensure drones are being used safely in a market set to grow rapidly over the next decade.
Drones have the potential to bring great benefits to the UK the government said, and with the industry predicted by PwC to be worth £42 billion to the UK by 2030, it said creating a “blueprint for safe and secure use now is crucial to prepare for the future”.
The measures in the consultation launched today (26 July 2018) are part of a wider programme of new drone legislation and will shape the content of a draft Drones Bill due to be published later this year.
Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “Drones present exciting benefits to our society and our economy, but with a small group of people choosing to use them for harm there are challenges we must overcome if we are to prevent them hindering the potential of this technology.
“That’s why we’ve already introduced safety measures like a height limit, and rules around airports, and today we are consulting on how we go further, including extra police powers and a minimum age requirement.”
On Monday (30 July 2018) updates to the Air Navigation Order also come into force – implementing new height and airport boundary restrictions.
Those breaching these restrictions will face penalties of up to £2,500 and could also be charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft, which can carry a penalty of up to five years imprisonment.