Richard Burden – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Richard Burden on 2016-03-02.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will expedite the work of the cross-governmental working group on drones; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to mitigate the safety risks posed by civilian drones.

Mr Robert Goodwill

Government’s primary responsibility is the safety and security of our citizens. That is why we apply the highest regulatory safety standards for commercial aviation in the world.

There is legislation in place that requires users of small drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle, and that requires users to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit their vehicle to endanger any person or property.

It is already illegal to operate a drone recklessly or negligently, and the Crown Prosecution Service has successfully prosecuted where there has been persistent reckless behaviour.

Education of drone users is vital. The DfT is working with the CAA on raising awareness of responsible drone use. This includes the CAA’s ‘Drone Code’ safety awareness campaign and the issuing of safety leaflets at the point of sale.

We will continue to keep our policies and regulation under review to ensure public safety remains paramount. This currently includes working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones.