CLA statement on the introduction of new laws to prevent unsafe or criminal use of drones

27 November 2017

CLA Legal Adviser Andrew Gillett said:“Drones have huge potential to benefit a wide range of industries, particularly agriculture so it is vital that regulations keep pace.

“For reassurance that drones are being flown legally, professionally and safely we have actively called for compulsory registration so we are pleased the Government has listened to our concerns and legislated for new measures to control drone use.

“However, an increase in the use of recreational drones with cameras is a real worry to farmers and landowners over their privacy, the potential for damage to property and the safety of people and livestock on private land

“We will continue to push for a change to the Civil Aviation Act 1982 so that recreational drone users would need to seek the landowners’ permission before flying over private land.”

The CLA’s five top tips for responsible drone operation:

  1. fly safely and understand the law; you are legally responsible for every flight and could be prosecuted if found to be operating a drone in an unsafe manner,
  2. respect the privacy of others and obtain permission before flying over privately owned land or property,
  3. never fly within 50 metres of people or buildings,
  4. animals can be easily frightened by drones which can cause injury to them and others and,
  5. use common sense when operating a drone: keep it in sight at all times and do not fly above 400 feet.

The Government will publish a draft Drone Bill for consultation and introduce secondary legislation amendments in spring 2018. Click here for more information.