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With little time to go until the UK government is set to impose stricter regulations on UAV flying, drone operators have been predicting how the changing regulations will impact the sector.
One pilot that has weighed in on the debate is Ian Titchener, founder of Ely Aviation. Titchener has predicted that with more stringent restriction, the industry will see a decrease in the amount of unqualified, unsafe and uninsured pilots cashing in on commissioned work.
While Titchener acknowledges that not all unqualified pilots are knowingly offending, with many casually stating ‘a friend who will do it for a beer’ and ‘I have a Mavic, I’ll do it myself’, he has explained that unqualified pilots have been pinching custom from fully-trained operators.
While the regulations will naturally have an impact on commercial pilots, hobbyists operating within illegitimately commercial parameters will find technology more difficult to get a hold of and rules will become known and less easy to avoid.
Titchener stated: “Later this year the government is set to raise the bar by regulating drone ownership, and ease of access some people have to the technology will be made more difficult and expensive. Along with this, the regulations will be highlighted to the entire country, including that in order to carry out a commercial function you need to be, or hire a qualified pilot who is insured and has the appropriate permissions in place and also the consequences for those who ignore the rules.
“It may take a month or two for the effects to be seen, but all of those who previously ‘had a mate’ or ‘owned a drone’ will know that they have to contact one of the 3,500 PfCO holders in the UK to carry out the job for them.”