In the summer of 2018, the UK Government set in motion plans to ensure that all drone pilots register and pass safety tests. Then, in April this year, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published a consultation document that outlined the scheme in more detail.
Included was an annual fee from drone and model aircraft pilots whose aircraft weigh over 250 grams. This would offset the cost of the Drone Registration Scheme. All pilots obliged to sign up would also have to sit an online competency test.
The controversy around these proposals centred on two points. First, the cost was difficult to justify for a year-long registration. And second, even paid-up members of model flying associations and drone pilots already carrying out commercial operations with the CAA’s permission would be required to register again.
Needless to say, there was plenty of criticism of the proposals. This month, a matter of weeks before the registration scheme is set to go live in November, the CAA has announced last-minute changes in a move that will address some of those initial concerns.