Operator ID Is Coming to the UK
(Above is the mdMapper3000DµoG from Microdrones.)
In the UK, starting November 30th, it will be mandatory for all drone owners [and model aircraft owners of drones/planes weighing more than 250g (8.8oz) up to 20kg (44lbs)] to register their details with the CAA (this is called an OperatorID). Owners of unregistered drones after December 1st could face a fine of up to £2000. Any drone that you are responsible for will need a label placed on it with your OperatorID clearly on it. (We’ve written about this requirement in the U.S. near the end of this article.)
If you do not own a drone/plane but fly them, you will be required to have a FlyerID, though if you hold a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) you do not need the FlyerID.
What is most interesting is that this applies to everyone, whether you’re a professional, a hobbyist, or someone who received a drone for Christmas. There is an age limit of 13 years for the FlyerID, though the parent/guardian will need to register as the responsible party.
Registration is simple. You register here for both types of registrations, with a simple 20-question form that references the CAA Drone and Model Aircraft Code (psst – you can use it whilst you fill out the questionnaire!). I took this earlier and got a full 20/20 with only one tricky question about commercial filming that got me stuck for a minute.
I initially questioned why the users and not the drones themselves had to be registered, and the response from CAA was that they’re covering when drone racers or commercial users may have more than one device, and they also are trying to make sure that what hey put in place met with the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) safety requirements that will come next year.
Interestingly, all this coincides with a service that the CAA is starting that it hopes will reunite owners with their lost drones.