Laws around using a Drone

19th April 2016

Laws around using a Drone

Following the first confirmed collision between a passenger jet and an Unmanned Aircraft, commonly known as a “Drone” at Heathrow airport at the weekend, the spotlight is firmly on the users of these machines.

It is not illegal to purchase a Drone and it is becoming common to see people in local parks in Ipswich and elsewhere flying these on a recreational level. There are Regulations in force however which include a ban on flying remote-controlled devices over congested areas or within 50 metres of people or buildings without official permission. Breaches can result in the operator being taken to court and fined up to £5,000. The Air Navigation Order defines a congested area as being:

‘any area of a city, town or settlement which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes’.

In April last year a man was fined £800 and ordered to pay costs of £3,500 at the Furness and District Magistrate court, after being prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for flying a drone within 50 metres of the Jubilee Bridge on the Walney Channel and flying over a nuclear installation, the BAE System submarine-testing facility. The following month a man was fined for flying a quadcopter over a number of rides at Alton Towers.

If you use a Drone for Commercial purposes then you need special permission from the CAA and could be committing an offence if you do not do so.

Another thing to be wary of is using a drone to record images of other people without their consent, as this could be construed as a breach of the Data Protection Act, or of the CCTV code of practice, which was recently extended to include public use of drones where they are collecting information about individuals.

The CAA says: Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations. The rules for flying drones are designed to keep all airspace users safe. It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports and anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including imprisonment.

As an importer of remote controlled toys and unmanned aircraft, you need to be clear about how these are manufactured and marketed in order to avoid falling foul of Consumer Protection Laws. There can be safety issues surrounding the construction of these which you could be made liable for if you import them from outside of the EU, from China for example.

How can our lawyers help you?

It is expected that both the CAA and the Police will be looking at these incidents more closely as Drones become more popular. If you are facing charges relating to Drone use, use a Drone for commercial or hobby purposes and need advice about the Regulations, or perhaps you are the victim of harassment or nuisance relating to a Drone, then you can contact us on 01473 298140.

As a business you may be under investigation by Trading Standards in relation to importing these types of products, we can also advise, guide and represent you in this area.

You can have an appointment regarding this or any other legal advice at any of our offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Melton and Woodbridge.

Partner
Practice Areas
Accident and Personal Injury Claims
Criminal Law Solicitors
Regulatory
Blog Posts

As families change, so too should your legal arrangements

03/08/2018

If ever there was a statistic that illustrated the changing family dynamic of 21st…

Read More
Upcoming Events

Gotelee Legal Walk

07/06/2018

Gotelee Solicitors are walking the Ipswich Legal Walk on behalf of the Eastern Legal…

Read More
News Posts

UK ranked fifth worst for workplace stress

16/08/2018

  Levels of workplace stress in the UK are among the highest in the…

Read More

Testimonials

"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"Domini was very fast and efficient in carrying out her work for me - she was also very good at explaining things to me"

-

"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"

-

"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"

-

"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."

-

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact.