In December 2022, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) amended the European drone regulation:
- Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945, detailing design and production drones’ specification
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947, describing rules and procedures for the operation of drones
The CAA extended the legacy and transitional provisions for drones operating in the open category. It has been decided that the transition and legacy provisions will be extended to 1 January 2026. This time will allow for the CAA and Department of Transportation to conduct a review of regulations for drones, including the open category to ensure it is properly regulated in a way that is fit for purpose for the UK prior to 2026.
Parrot closely monitors regulation news to ensure design compliancy of developed drones.
The UK’s drone rules are based on the risk of the flight – where you fly, the proximity to other people, and the size and weight of your drone.
The rules do not apply if you are flying indoors. Flights within buildings, or within areas where there is no possibility for the drone to escape into the open air (such as a closed netted structure) are not subject to aviation legislation.
The main rules and advice are covered in the Drone and Model Aircraft Code.
Key rules include
- Never fly more than 120m (400ft) above the earth’s surface.
- Always keep your drone or model aircraft in visual line of sight.
- Never fly in an airport’s flight restriction zone unless you have permission.
Registration and flyer ID
- If your drone has a camera (unless it is a toy) or weighs 250g or more then you must register with the CAA. You must renew this registration every year. This is a registration of you as the pilot rather than the drone itself.
- Anyone flying a drone weighing 250g or more needs to pass a test and get a flyer ID from the CAA. This is free and online. You can register, get your flyer ID, and find more information at register-drones.caa.co.uk
The done rules are based on risk and are divided into three categories: Open, Specific, and Certified.
- The Open category is intended for low-risk drone flights, for example if you are flying a lightweight drone or operating in the countryside.
- The Specific category is for higher risk flights such as flying a heavier drone over an urban area.
- The Certified category is for large drones which have to meet specific safety certifications along the lines of aircraft.