Civil Aviation Authority Launches "Dronecode" for Quadcopters

By James O Malley on at

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the body that oversees aircraft in the UK has launched a new drone safety initiative as part of its "Drone Safety Awareness Day".

I know what you're thinking: Yeah, it does feel like Drone Safety Awareness Day gets earlier every year.

The detail in some of the rules are complicated, but simply put the Dronecode is as follows:

  • Keep your drone within your line of sight and at a maximum height of 400ft high
  • Always fly your drone away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields
  • Use your common sense and fly safely. Remember you could be prosecuted if you don’t

Additionally, drones with cameras must not go within 50m of buildings, structures, people or vehicles and must stay away from large events such as sporting events and festivals. In a video published last March, in addition to safety worries it seems the CAA is also concerned about privacy and copyright:

The launch of the code is motivated by increasing concerns that unmanned aircraft are getting worryingly close to aeroplanes, as well as posing other threats. The CAA has partnered with NATS (National Air Traffic Services) and the pilots union to come up with what is perhaps analogous to the Highway Code.

Tim Johnson, CAA Director of Policy said, “We want to embrace and enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology, but we must ensure that this is done safely, with all airspace users in mind. It is imperative that people observe the rules when operating a drone. Drone users must understand that when taking to the skies they are entering one of the busiest areas of airspace in the world - a complex system that brings together all manner of aircraft including passenger aeroplanes, military jets, helicopters, gliders, light aircraft and now drones. When doing so, they must be aware of the rules and regulations for flying drones that are designed to keep all air users safe.”

Now you know this, you can get back to celebrating Drone Safety Awareness Day with your family, even if it is too commercial these days.