Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Talks: Will tougher new drone laws improve safety?

Christmas is just around the corner and some lucky Lincolnshire residents will be opening brand new drones delivered by Santa on December 25. However, new laws coming just around the corner will mean that users will have to quickly get a grasp of their flashy equipment.

Police are set to be given new powers to improve drone security, with the draft of the Drone Bill to be published by the government next spring.

The new laws could give police the right to ground drones as well as seize parts of them to prove an offence has been committed.

Drone users could also have to register their equipment and may have to use apps to check if they can fly their drone.

Banning all drones from flying over 400ft and near airports could also become new legislation.

Michael Kheng, director of Kurnia Aerial Photography, a company which specialises in capturing videos and photos on the ground and in the air, told Lincolnshire Reporter: “I think it’s great, and that consumers do need training.

“The downside is that people will abuse it.

“It’s great that it gives police powers but we all know that resources are stretched and will there be enough officers around to enforce the laws?

“It’s going in the right direction and will be welcomed by the commercial industry.

“I urge those getting a drone for Christmas to fly them responsibly, especially around RAF Scampton where the Red Arrows will be training.

“There are already laws in place so it’s not like they’re bringing in new laws.”

Lincolnshire Police chief inspector Deborah Clark, added: “I feel the new proposals would be beneficial to the police to prevent unsafe and criminal use of drones, in particular registration, use of applications, and banning of drones flying above 40 feet near airports.

“However legislation already exists which means we can deal with incidents of this nature and if drone offences are being committed then we will attend, investigate and deal accordingly.”

The current laws from the Air Navigation Order 2016 state, you cannot:

  • Fly them dangerously anywhere.
  • Drop anything from them.
  • Fly them out of sight of the operator.
  • Fly them above 400ft (300ft if you’re near a helicopter route).
  • Fly them in and around airports.
  • Fly them within or over 150 metres of congested spaces or organised gatherings of more than 1000 people, if fitted with a camera.
  • Fly within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle, person or structure not under control of the person in charge of the aircraft.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments or by emailing [email protected]