Tougher rules needed on drone use to protect privacy of property owners in the countryside

03 April 2017

The CLA has responded to the Press Association story which reveals the number of incidents reported to police involving drones trebled between 2014 and 2016.

Representing landowners, farmers and rural businesses, the CLA has set out its concerns over the inappropriate use of drones and privacy issues with the Government.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “The use of drones both commercially and for recreation is growing fast. The sector has huge potential to benefit a wide range of industries but we need regulation to keep pace.

“An increase in the use of recreational drones with cameras is causing real concern to farmers and landowners over their privacy, the potential for damage to property and the safety of people and livestock on private land.

“We need reassurance that drones being flown over private property or land are being done so legally, professionally and safely. The CLA has called for compulsory registration and insurance for drones, along with a change to the Civil Aviation Act 1982 to ensure permission from the landowner is required before recreational drones can be flown over private land.”

The CLA’s five top tips for responsible drone operation:

  1. fly safely and understand the law; you are legally responsible for every flight and could be prosecuted if found to be operating a drone in an unsafe manner,
  2. respect the privacy of others and obtain permission before flying over privately owned land or property,
  3. never fly within 50 metres of people or buildings,
  4. animals can be easily frightened by drones which can cause injury to them and others and,
  5. use common sense when operating a drone: keep it in sight at all times and do not fly above 400 feet.

Read the CLA’s response to the Department for Transport’s consultation on the safe use of drones Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy in full here.