In December 2019, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (or EASA) announced that, as of July 2020, new rules will come into play to manage the use of drones. The aim is to govern issues such as noise, privacy concerns, etc, that are increasingly being caused by drone misuse. And to ensure the public and those that fly them stay safe. It’s important to note that the new regulations apply whether you are using a drone commercially or just as a hobby.
If you fly drones already or are looking to buy into this growing sector, we’ve compiled a brief about the EASA regulations that contains everything you need to know…
The EASA is based in Germany and was established in July 2002 to be the focus of the European Union’s strategy for aviation safety. Their aim is to develop common safety and environmental rules for its 32 member states. This agency isn’t just about drones, but every aspect of aviation including pilot training and cadet programs.
As part of the new EASA drone regulations, whether you’re an experienced drone pilot or new owner, you will need to register your drone. Which can be done online. You will also need to pass a free, online test before you fly. It’s important to state that this only applies to drones weighing more than 250g.
If this applies to your equipment, then in the UK you must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (at a cost of just £9 per year). Incidentally, the EASA rules do not fully override the current CAA rules until July 2021. This timescale allows the CAA and the Department for Transport to bring existing UK legislation into line.
The regulations also stipulate where you can and can’t fly your drone. Areas that are out of bounds include airports, helipads, and areas that might affect public safety. You must also avoid areas where the emergency services are responding to an incident. You are also not allowed to fly your drone over sites that are deemed to be sensitive. For example, prisons, power plants, and military bases. The other big no-no is an obvious one, but you can not fly near manned aircraft.
As drones become more technologically advanced and the equipment on board, particularly the camera, gets more sophisticated, the temptation is to utilise these features more. But the drone laws from the EASA may impact that too.
You are no longer allowed to fly your drone over large groups of people. And when it comes to photography or videography, you are not allowed to take pictures, audio recordings, or videos of people without their permission. You also need to be able to see your drone at all times whilst it is in the air.
Whilst a lot of these rules sound like they are taking the fun out of drone flying, that’s not the case. These new rules focus on safety, rather than trying to punish or curtail those who do this for a job. Both enthusiasts and commercial drone pilots are now treated equally with safety and risk reduction at the heart of the rules.
Drone flying remains an enormously enjoyable hobby. And with the advances in technology and the cost efficiency of drones, this means that it is becoming a burgeoning industry for people who want to utilise them. But sadly this isn’t always the case. There are still incidents reported involving drones being used for nefarious acts. Public safety needs to be looked at and these regulations aim to do just that.
So, if you are looking for an experienced and certified drone flyer, RUAS has you covered. We offer anything from roof inspections to promotional video and photography. Get in contact today on 01633 746170 or visit our contact page for more details.