The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (the CAA), regulates Britain’s airspace and their remit covers everything from gliders to jumbo jets – and it now also includes drones. Jonathan Nicholson, the Assistant Director Corporate Communications of the CAA, told DronePunks about the organisation’s educational efforts and their ambition for their ‘Dronecode’ to become a ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ for the air. And, to note – they don’t want to be “a killjoy.”
The core concept of the Dronecode is to communicate a simple set of guidelines to consumer users about what they should and shouldn’t do. Key points include always flying under 400ft, keeping the device within view and to stay away from aircraft and airports.
Jonathan explains, “We want to absolutely encourage people to enjoy their drones, fly their drones, we’re not a killjoy. We’re not out to say, ‘No drones,’ or something like that. We want people to enjoy drones as a consumer and use all the great commercial possibilities of drones, but we want people to do it safely in a way that works with other aviation that exists.”
DJI and Maplin are already including the Dronecode with every drone sold in order to ensure that new users are aware of their responsibilities as pilots.
The CAA is currently reaching out to manufacturers, drone associations and resellers, and DJI have also been assisting them with consumer research, to get the pulse of drone users nationwide. They also hope to work with schools to encourage the exploration of the technologies involved, as well as to communicate the responsibilities that drone users have to operate safely. Finally, they are set to publish a major piece of research on consumer drone users – the first of its kind – to be released this September.
And there’s more to come. “We are redoing the Dronecode, the safety advice, to make it much simpler and easier… much more like a ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ kind of thing, to make it easy to get into people’s heads,” Jonathan adds.
You can find a link to the Dronecode here. They also have this video offering a short guide to using a drone:
You can read the full interview with Jonathan Nicholson here.
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