Nearly two-thirds of drone owners welcome compulsory flying exams similar to Government-proposed assessments, according to new research
The Drone Usage Report 2017 compiled by leading drones and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) retailer DronesDirect.co.uk has revealed that 61% of drone owners would welcome a compulsory flying exam before taking to the skies with their gadget as they think it would increase public safety.
The news comes as the UK Government has announced plans to introduce mandatory safety awareness courses and registration for owners of small unmanned aircraft, including drones.
More than half (56%) of drone owners are confident in their piloting skills and think they would pass a flying exam if they had to sit one before doing so alone.
While the vast majority of users (65%) also say they would be willing to have their drone electronically registered to make it easier to identify the owner if the gadget was lost or stolen – in fact just 13% are against this idea.
This data shows drone owners are a largely well-informed and safety conscious bunch, as almost all (98%) of drone owners surveyed said they were aware of the Drone Code rules and regulations set out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the operation of drones.
A third (32%) feel government regulations should be relaxed to open the skies up increased innovation, including recreational use and commercial use such as drone delivery.
Mark Kelly, Marketing Manager at DronesDirect.co.uk, said: “It’s encouraging to see the majority of drone owners welcome steps to increase flying safety, and that they are already confident in their level of operating skill. We recommend that all drone owners are familiar with the CAA guidelines before taking flight, and fly their gadget in clear open spaces.
“The introduction of electronic registering will also add further reassurance to avid flyers with less than a sixth against this idea. The registry of drones makes sense and is no different in practice to the records currently kept by the DVLA for road vehicles.
“The vast majority of the drones we sell feature inbuilt safety features to avoid drone owners flying their craft close to no-fly zones and sensitive sites such as airports, clearly marking these no go zones and increased development of geo-fences will help owners unfamiliar with the local area.
“We have also created the DronesDirect.co.uk Customer Charter, which details our efforts to provide free drone pilot training, safe flying demonstrations, responsible piloting briefings and best practice guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to contribute to educated drone users.”
The Huddersfield-based retailer, which is one of the country’s largest retailers of drones, has the UK’s only dedicated in-store Flying Zone, allowing consumers to learn the safest way to pilot their drones.
By witnessing DronesDirect.co.uk’s qualified professionals fly drones and getting the chance to get behind the controls themselves in the Flying Zone, customers will leave with the knowledge needed to fly their drone safely.
The retailer is also working with leading drone manufacturers to provide tailored training events for drone owners.