A drone is a remote-controlled aircraft that doesn’t have a pilot on-board. Drones range from small children’s toys to large military systems. This includes remote-controlled model planes and helicopters.
There are different rules for different types (categories) of drone flight. The categories depend mainly on the weight of the drone, where you intend to fly, and how close you will be to people and built-up areas (towns and cities).
If you fly or own a drone, it’s your responsibility to make sure all flights are safe and legal.
The Drone and Model Aircraft Code
The Drone and Model Aircraft Code is like the Highway Code for drones. It was created by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and it tells you how to fly a drone legally and safely.
The operator of a drone is usually the owner.
If a drone is not owned by a single person, then a designated person known as the manager is the operator. For example, if a club owns a drone that members can use, then the club must designate a manager for the drone.
If you are the operator you must register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and get an OperatorID if the drone:
weighs over 250g or
has a camera that can take photos or record video
You must clearly display your OperatorID on every drone you own or manage.
You don’t need an OperatorID for a drone that is classed as a toy.
Your drone is likely to be a toy if:
maker or shop describes it as a toy
you bought it from a toy shop
it is marked as suitable for under 14s
it was advertised or packaged to attract children
Anyone flying (piloting) a drone that weighs over 250g must pass a basic test with the CAA to get a FlyerID. They must carry their FlyerID details at all times while flying.