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Pilots welcome Queen’s Speech promise of new drone laws

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has welcomed the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Government will introduce new regulations on drones in a forthcoming Modern Transport Bill.

Jim McAuslan, BALPA General Secretary, said:

“We are pleased that the Government is planning to bring forward drone legislation in a new bill. The number of recent near misses with passenger aircraft, and the huge growth in the number of drones in the UK certainly means this is a sensible thing to do, and we have been pushing for better regulation for some time.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority  in developing and refining these new regulations before the bill is laid before parliament.  Our focus is ensuring the safety of passengers and people on the ground while recognising the huge potential commercial benefits of this new technology.

“Better and safer regulation, as welcome as it is, is not the complete answer, though. It is vital that the hobbyist drone user is educated about the rules, and understands his or her responsibilities, particularly the importance of keeping away from commercial air traffic. We know the DfT and CAA share our belief that a combination of education, technological solutions and proportionate training and licencing are vital in ensuring our skies remain as safe as possible.”