UK Government Calls for Comments on Drone Proposals

The UK government is calling for comments on a number of drone related proposals, reports FlightGlobal.

The government released a paper on December 21, describing several drone related issues and the government’s proposals.  Comments from the public must be received by March 15.  The paper says that their current drone policy is supportive of the drone industry:  “In comparison with other countries, the UK’s risk-based and strong safety approach to aviation regulation and drones is viewed favourably,” the paper says. “This is an advantage the government is seeking to retain, whilst ensuring regulation is kept fit for purpose in addressing challenges and harnessing benefits.”

The government paper asks the public to comment on commercial drone support, such as:

  1. How effective current policy is in helping the drone industry innovate;
  2. How to ensure that drones operate safely and within the law;
  3. How to develop the commercial drone market.

The government is reviewing it’s policies on drone policies including test site facilities; drone operator qualifications and certifications; drone insurance; and the best ways to ensure communication and enforcement of drone laws, such as imposing fines or simplifying the rules.

The UK’s drone regulations have been widely seen as more favorable to the drone industry than those in the US, most visibly demonstrated by Amazon’s recent decision to test their drone delivery technology in the UK instead of at a test site in the US.  The UK government has said that it is committed to maintaining its support of an industry that could be critical to economic development.

However, the UK’s policy of surveying the public indicates that public perception may still be mixed on the use of commercial drones – recently released survey results show that communication with the public has fallen behind the implementation of commercial drones, leaving many with an unfavorable impression of drones and an unclear idea of their benefits.

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