Police advice on UAV use

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Police are encouraging those who may have received an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for Christmas to remember Civil Aviation guidelines when using them.

Sussex Police is keen for people to have fun but is urging people who receive them, and the parents of children who are given them, to check they stay on the right side of the law when they send them into the sky. The use of UAVs is covered by strict rules set by the Civil Aviation Authority, the organisation that regulates aircraft and air traffic controllers across the UK. Anyone who commits an offence such as endangering an aircraft, flying a UAV too close to a building or operating one too close to a crowd, could be fined thousands of pounds in court.

Inspector Mark Callaghan, from Sussex Police, said: “We really don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but a UAV could endanger an aircraft if it gets in its way while it is taking off or landing - and it will hurt if one of them crashes into you. That is why there are restrictions on who can fly a UAV and where they can be flown. I would encourage anyone who gets one to make sure they know the rules.”

Essentially, the person controlling a small UAV is fully responsible for the safe operation of any flight. But it is important to consider whether a permission (not a licence) from the CAA is needed. For guidance on what you can and cannot do with a UAV visit www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?CATID=1995.