New UK drone laws 2021

Mo Thomson

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Mo Thomson

Contributor
Staff member
All existing drones above 250grams are currently classed as legacy drones and cannot be flown in places that were previously available, such as beaches and other leisure areas.
To be able to continue using my DJI Mavic 2 Pro around beaches, I need to pass the A2CoC drone course, as all parks and beaches are classed as off limits, unless you keep 150 metres away.
If you have a really lightweight drone such as a Mavic Mini2 (less than 250g), you have quite a bit of freedom without a A2CofC, but you must follow the usual drone rules.

I am sitting my A2CofC course at 11am this morning, which comprises of 30 multiple choice questions, you also have to certify that you have hands on experience of the basics of controlling a drone and have practised specific drone handling tasks.
The course was £99 and it provides around 5 or 6 hours of video content, as well as mock exam and some forms to use for any future work.
The certificate is valid for 5 years and you can also sit a GVC course

You also need an OPERATOR ID, which costs £9 per year from the Civil Aviation Authority and if you fly a drone more than 250g, you also need a FLYER ID, which must be visibly labelled on any drone above 250g.
You can get an on the spot fine of £1000 if you don't have a valid ID or C2CofC or GVC certificate and you face up to 5 years in jail if you fly within 5km of an airport boundary.

If you want to fly a drone without all the main restrictions, then you can fly a drone weighing less than 250g, without having to pass the C2CofC, but the image quality and handling in the wind will not be as good as the bigger drones.

The test is done online, with a someone watching you remotely, you share your desktop and camera / mic on Zoom and have to show them the clear desk area you are sitting in, with no papers or screens nearby.
You get 90 minutes to sit the test, I did the 30 questions in 7 minutes and passed it no probs, so I will get a A2CofC certificate which is good for 5 years and means that I don't need to keep 150 metres away from people, property, parks, beaches, ec.

You still need public liabilty insurance of at least £750,000 to do any commercial drone work.
If you want to do the more complex work or use large drones, you are best to do the GVC course
 
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