A ‘Dronecode’ website with advice for users on how to operate the machines safely has been set up following a spate of near-misses with planes.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is publishing its code of conduct on the new site after UK Airprox Board reports showed there had been 58 close calls in the past 12 months.
These included an incident in July, when an Airbus A320 had a “very near-miss” with a drone near the Shard in central London.
The pilot, who was approaching Heathrow with 165 passengers on board, estimated that the remotely-operated aircraft flew within 20m at an altitude of 4,900ft.
Now, the CAA is hoping to cut down on such incidents and has revised its code of conduct to make it easier for users to understand.
Drone operators are warned not to fly near airports or airfields and never to fly near aircraft.
The machines should also be kept below 400ft and at least 150ft away from buildings and people, according to CAA rules, which have been backed by the Department for Transport.
CAA policy director Tim Johnson said: “Drones have significant potential and the new Dronecode, which forms the basis of establishing a responsible attitude toward drone flight amongst consumers, will help to protect the safety of the wider aviation industry.
“It will also help those expected to use drones to improve current operations, from farming to traffic, from healthcare to logistics.
“Ultimately, people must use their drones safely, and responsibly.”
Oliver Meakin, chief executive of electronics retailer Maplin, said the build up to Christmas was a “key time for drone purchases”.
He said the company was working with the CAA and NATS, the UK’s national air traffic service, to make sure customers are aware of the code.
Full story: SkyNews