There are about as many ideas for regulating drones and licensing drone pilots as there are models of unmanned aerial vehicles but only a few get the approval of the world’s largest consumer drone manufacturer, People's Republic of China-based DJI, and the proposed drone pilot online testing program in the United Kingdom is one of them.
In a press release published to bolster public support for the UK Department for Transport’s Air Navigation Order outlining the scheme, DJI's Head of Public Policy Europe, Christian Struwe, said: “The Department for Transport’s updates to the regulatory framework strike a sensible balance between protecting public safety and bringing the benefits of drone technology to British businesses and the public at large…The vast majority of drone pilots fly safely and responsibly, and governments, aviation authorities and drone manufacturers agree we need to work together to ensure all drone pilots know basic safety rules. We are therefore particularly pleased about the Department for Transport’s commitment to accessible online testing as a way of helping drone users to comply with the law.”
Of course, DJI has underlined that it only wants to encourage safe and responsible drone operation and sees the UK’s Department for Transport’s actions in that direction as a positive step.
The company also touts their drone’s advanced technology for preventing accidents and assisting the pilot in safe operation but that doesn’t mean that the ever-popular devices won’t stop being under the scrutiny of governments.
With everything from licensing programs to license plates on the table, we can expect there will still be a raft of drone regulations to come in the future in the UK and elsewhere although a testing and certification scheme that removes barriers to entry while also maintaining certain standards of competency can only benefit the wider drone community at large.
It would help if like FAA and CAA etc there is a lot of international cooperation and commonality of regulation.