Age restrictions proposed for drone use in UK

The UK is currently mulling a lot of new regulations around drones, aimed at clamping down on consumer use ahead of a seemingly inevitable explosion. Among a deluge of proposal is age restriction, banning use of drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds by anyone under the age of 18.

That proposed age limit would be three years younger than the age restriction on applying for a full plane or helicopter license. In the case of the proposed drone restriction, however, kids could potentially still fly a drone, so long as they do so with adult supervision.

The proposed legislation follows similar laws put in place in the U.S., where an FAA-imposed drone registry has been the source of a protracted legal back and forth. The U.K. has imposed some rules as well, restricting the height of consumer drone flights (400 feet), and banning flights near airports.

Recent proposals in the U.K. include the use of anti-drone technology around selected events and locations, and mandating that users file flight plans in designated apps before take off. Drone advocacy groups are pushing back on the proposal naturally. While certain regulation seems like a no-brainer, there’s a suggestion that limiting the age of use is a step too far and perhaps counterproductive.

“We’ve got to promote the safe and responsible use of drones, but children are the future of the drone world, so it’s also important they can have access to drones and use them,” Gabin Wishart of the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems told the BBC. “The drone industry is expected to be a large part of the economy going forward so you don’t want to stop kids from exploring that.”