Strictly speaking there is no such thing as a drone ‘license’ in the UK.
However, if you intend to own and operate a drone in the UK then you must first register for an Operator ID and a Flyer ID. Depending on what drone you want to fly and where you want to fly it, you may also need to obtain some form of certification
It's a great idea to join a group (like Flyby Technology on Facebook) and keep up to date with all the latest information on flying your drone safely.
An Operator ID is required for the person that owns the drone and you will need to affix your Operator ID to your drone for identification purposes. Obtaining an Operator ID will come with a small fee payable yearly to the CAA.
A Flyer ID is required for the person that operates the drone and you will need to carry proof of this ID before you can fly. The Flyer ID is completely free, but you must complete a small online quiz.
You can obtain both IDs here: register-drones.caa.co.uk
Where you can fly is dependant on what drone you have and the level of risk involved.
There are three categories for drone operations in the UK. These are:
There are also Flight Restriction Zones (FRZ) in the UK, like around airports, prisons, military ranges, royal palaces, and government buildings. You'll need to follow the rules and regulations of the UK Air Navigation Order and ensure you are flying in a safe area.
You can find details of FRZs and other airspace restrictions in NATS' map of airspace restrictions.
Generally, you will want to follow these rules:
The Drone Code outlines your responsibilities as a drone pilot, and should always be followed. In brief:
You can access the Drone Code in full here: register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code.
There is no distinction between flying commercially and flying recreationally. An approval just to operate commercially is not required, so anyone can pick up a drone and start earning money.
However, you must have valid insurance cover for any commercial flights.
If you want to make a profit from flying your drone, or change your career and become a drone pilot, Flyby offer top quality drone training courses across the UK. If you're unsure where to start, get in touch and we'll advise you on the best course for your requirements. We can also advise you on which drone to invest in, so do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.