Science & Technology Committee publish their report into ‘commercial and recreational drone use in the UK'

Science & Technology Committee publish their report into ‘commercial and recreational drone use in the UK'

The Science and Technology Parliamentary Select Committee will today publish their report into ‘commercial and recreational drone use in the UK'.

The BMFA provided several written inputs to the Committee on behalf of the UK model flying associations and BMFA CEO Dave Phipps appeared before the committee on the 9th July to provide oral evidence.

We are pleased to report that the Committee have incorporated many of the comments we provided as well as a number of comments submitted directly by members.

The Committee’s recommendations included a comment that “the registration system must be fit for purpose, and that its design should not stop users from registering”. The Committee also concluded that “the Government should not introduce any legislation that will unfairly impact upon the recreational drone and model flying community”.

Another recommendation put forward by the Committee was that “the Government consider a system which allows organised clubs and societies to register as one entity, so as not to financially burden each member. However, it must be mandatory for every individual user to adhere to the required safety standards. The Government should set out in response to this Report whether this should be demonstrated by the completion of an online test or an obligation on clubs to ensure their members have appropriate safety standards”.

The Committee also stated that It is vital that the Government respects recreational drone use and model flying communities and ensures that any further regulation or legislation does not dissuade people from joining such communities”.

The Committee also called for a review of the CAA’s proposed registration fee and suggested that the renewal period should be every three years rather than annual.

The Committee called for the Government “to produce a White Paper by Summer 2020 that outlines the vision for how drones will be integrated into UK communities over the coming years. At a minimum, the White Paper should cover the role of registration, regulation, maximising the opportunities, minimising the risks, drone safety education and the technology required in order to implement their vision of drone integration into society in the next 20 years. The document should also set out a clear roadmap that outlines the steps that the Government and other agencies will take to achieve this future vision”.

The report is wide ranging and also touches on other aspects such as electronic conspicuity requirements.

Our hope is that the contents of the report will support the position of the model flying community in our ongoing negotiations with the DfT/CAA to help us arrive at a sensible outcome.

The report can be read in full here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmsctech/2021/2021.pdf

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