Got a drone for Christmas? UAVAir reveals what every new pilot must know

Drones are becoming a must-have piece of tech, growing in popularity every year. They also make great gifts and it was estimated that around 400,000 drones were purchased in the US as presents in 2015, with similar statistics estimated in the UK. While the numbers are yet to be counted for 2016, they’re sure to remain high and drone training expert UAVAir reveals what every new pilot who plans to operate a drone must know.

An organisation known as the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) governs British airspace. To do this, it has created the Air Navigation Order (ANO), which forms the legal basis of the rules and permissions for all aerial work in the UK, including drones.

Séamus Kearns, Chief Instructor at UAVAir stated, “All new pilots should refer to the ANO to learn about the regulations of aviation. This document will go into a lot of detail, but there are a few basic things every pilot must know: You must fly within the line of sight at a maximum height of 400ft, with the drone no more than 500m away from you horizontally. No drone can be flown near other aircraft, and it must not be within 50m of another person, vehicle or structure that you don't have permission from. Flying near or over congested areas such as a public event or concert is not permitted any closer than 150m.”

Currently, non-commercial drone pilots with aircraft weighing under 20kg do not need a licence to fly legally, as long as they abide to the CAA’s rules. The British aviation organisation has recently released a Drone Assist app to educate new users of these laws.

Although established amongst consumers, the drone industry is still adapting and transforming to improve its overall safety. Calls for registration of all drones in the UK and ‘driving theory’ style tests have been proposed as part of these efforts, yet they remain in discussion for now.

Séamus Kearns, continued, “Getting a drone is incredibly exciting, especially if you’ve never flown one before – but it’s important to be aware that the repercussions of unsafe flight are much bigger than in video games and other forms of 'entertainment.' A whole industry surrounds drones, with legal guidelines in place to aid its safety. Once you understand the basic drone laws, it is also worth knowing the career potential that drones can bring for any individual. There is huge demand for skilled and qualified pilots in a range of industries and specialisations. At UAVAir we give you the knowledge and training needed to fill these roles.”

UAVAir runs drone training courses across the UK. Learn more at: