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UK kids could be banned from flying heavy drones under new flight laws

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The United Kingdom’s Department of Transport (DfT) is considering a raft of new rules to fight against the misuse of drones including placing restrictions on the size of UAVs that kids will be allowed to fly.

Coming into effect at the end of November, the new rules from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will require UK drone owners to register and pass online safety tests for drones weighing more than 250 grams (8 ounces). Sky News reports that under the new rules, kids could be forbidden from operating or owning UAVs weighing more than 250 grams. The rules would also provide new powers for police to issue on the spot fines of £300 ($390 USD) or confiscate drones for people using them irresponsibly. These new regulations are on top of a law that came into force this week which ban drones from flying above 400ft, and within one kilometer (0.6 miles) of airport boundaries.

The proposals come at a time when the number of drones in the UK is growing rapidly and more of the public are complaining about their irresponsible use. Most complaints revolve around naughty neighbors, burglary “scoping” exercises or people worried about drones spying.

The 250 gram weight limit was arrived at after the DfT conducted testing which showed that drones weighing 400 grams could crack a helicopter windscreen and one that weighs 2 kg (4.4 lbs) could damage an airlines windscreen. There are many examples of adults who behave like complete idiots with their drones and one would assume that children, who likely have little to no knowledge of the laws surrounding drone usage, could post a greater risk to public safety.

The full list of new regulations from the UK government are listed here.

Drones under 250 grams (8 ounces)

Many popular DJI models of drone are far heavier than 250 grams.

Popular models under 250g:

Parrot Airborne Night Mini Drone

SKEYE Nano Drone

Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone

Drones like the Holy Stone X400C will still be allowed to be piloted by children under the UK’s new flight restrictions because it weighs under 250 grams.

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