United Kingdom drone registration opens

Drone registration made compulsory as UK scheme launches

Drone pilots in the United Kingdom have until the end of November to register themselves and their quadcopters with the Civil Aviation Authority - or face a £1,000 fine. The registration is cheap, at just £9 ($12), but operators will need to take an online education course and test as part of the process.

All drones weighing more than 250g must be registered with the country's Civil Aviation Authority by November 30th.

Around 130,000 owners and operators of drones in Britain were told Tuesday that they would have to register their flying machines by the end of November or face a fine of up to 1,000 pounds (1,289 USA dollars).

In order to pass, drone pilots need to score 16 out 20, and there is no limit to the amount of times a pilot can take the test.

In a bid to soften the blow of mandatory tests and fees for owners, the CAA is launching an accompanying "drones reunited" site, citing research showing that more than one in four owners claims to have lost a drone.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority said the drone registration scheme was necessary to enable the Drones Reunited platform to be operational.

The CAA will then issue a unique code to each drone.

Registration costs £9 which the United Kingdom government argues is a lot cheaper than replacing a lost drone.

But a quarter of cases involve pilots making mistakes. "Our aim is for the Drones Reunited platform to become an essential service for the drone community - the first port of call for anyone who has lost, or found, a drone".

The CAA said with over a quarter of drone owners admitting to having lost their drones, the registration scheme will be able to help reconnect owners with their lost devices.

It's trying to avoid a repeat of last year's Christmas drone incident that stalled flights at Gatwick Airport.

The three-day disruption affected more than 140,000 passengers across a total of 1,000 flights.

As part of the registration scheme, the CAA has also launched a "Drones Reunited" scheme which is a platform to help recover the thousands of drones lost in the United Kingdom each year. The police also reportedly carried out 1,200 house-to-house inquiries and took 222 witness statements in a police operation costing £790,000.

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