UK Drone Registration Scheme - Consultation now open

UK Drone Registration Scheme

A consultation is now open, until 7 June 2019, on the proposed charge for the new UK drone operator registration scheme.

This will become law at the end of November 2019.

You can view the consultation at:

Notable points:

CAA are proposing an annual charge of £16.50 for each operator.

CAA have based their costs on an assumption of 170,000 registrations over the initial 18 month period

Full document:

What do YOU need to do?

Fill in this form:



Just done it, Cheers

It doesn’t ask much. Very narrow consultation at this point, with no “any other comments” field. Doesn’t get into the harder questions of how they will verify identity and assess competence.

Generally it seems like a decent scheme which should bring a light-touch control to drone ownership, although I wish they were requiring mandatory third-party insurance the way vehicle owners must do.

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Why pick on drones? Not needed for mobility scooters, electric wheel chairs, push bikes, throwing a frisbee …. etc.

I’ve been to A&E twice due to mobility scooters! (Not me using one!! :wink: )

Yes - I know what you meant - but ….


Back on topic, another point not covered in the consultation (and with nowhere to add it) is the scope of support services to be provided by CAA.

They will include some sort of helpdesk but I think this is intended to be purely administrative. I think the public would be better served if this helpline had a deeper skill set – ie it was set up to answer questions about regulations and safe flying for anyone who has completed the training but found an “edge case” not definitively answered in the training. At the moment we ask each other on forums, which is great for securing a view from fellow pilots but does not provide a gateway for “official” guidance.

Encouraging safe flying is more than just giving people an online test: giving them somewhere to ask questions afterwards would also be important.

Well, this consultation is only about one thing, the cost of registration.

The opening line says:

This consultation covers our charge proposal for the Government mandated UK Drone Registration Scheme

There will be plenty more consultations to come :blush:

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I get a feeling that they are tentative about the cost. By the way they try to justify it. I.e. they believe it may be too much. And annually??? But that is the way you barter? Personally, I think its a bit steep. Maybe £5 a year is more reasonable. Registration is there so the operator is traceable to a drone. There where a few 0.xx millions quoted. Yes, maybe the CAA wont profit, but their outsourced work will certainly benefit contractors. My 2p.

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Please be sure to input your 2p to the consultation form :blush:

A quick back-of-a-fag-packet calculation says that the CAA stands to turn over £1.8m in year one.

Which like you say:

Which makes me think I’m in the wrong job :rofl:

I could literally do this for less than half of that cost. Which also makes me think I should have entered the tender process :confused:


Jobs for the boys!

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Just done mine. Was very surprised to the the proposed cost at £16.50. I had a look around and added this to my comment

The charge are excessively high when compared to other countries and look to be a tax on hobbyists.
Cost in other countries
France £0 - I have passed the online flight test and registered myself and my aircraft. Test and registration available in English
USA $5
Canada $5
Australia $20 (£10.88)
The UK cost is
Have you considered registration of tourists drone flyers?

Being seen as too high could easily have the unintended consequence of drone owners not registering.

If this is to work everything should be done to encourage drone owners and maximise registration rate rather than use as a funding source. I can see some who only occasionally fly a drone taking a risk and not registering with these costs rates.


So our CAA has just released their proposed charges for the mandatory registration of your drone from November 2019.

£16.50 . Renewable every year.

Not impressed. They want a high take up? Why not offer a free registration controlled and maintained via the apps? Either way, it’s way more than other countries: USA is $5 for 3 years; France is free; Ireland is €5 for 2 years. Yet somehow the CAA think this is the very cheapest they can offer it for…
Either way, voice your opinion in under 60 seconds before 7 June 2019: Charge proposal for the UK Drone Registration Scheme - Civil Aviation Authority - Citizen Space


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@ianinlondon I’ve moved to your post over to the existing thread on this subject from a few days ago :+1:t2:

Ta; I did search for it but couldn’t see it! Getting too old… :slight_smile:

Just been on the consultation,and made my views clear.:+1:cheers.


Just been and registered my objection - at the cost, not the idea. What do you get for this £16.50? Diddly squat as far as I can see!


Totally agree Ian, that was my feedback to. The most expesive I could find was other than uk was Australian at just over £10 equivalent.

I hadn’t picked up it was renewable / payable every year which makes it even worse. Government looking for yet another cash cow through hidden taxes

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Thats exactly what i said,the fee is far too much :neutral_face::neutral_face:

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Several things upset me about this…

There have been a series of what appear to be unsubstantiated and bogus ‘drone’ incidents with no factual evidence that have been used to force legislation on RC Hobbyists and not just ‘drone’ users. Gatwick - no evidence!
Pilots claiming that they saw a drone - no evidence!
Crap pilots of light aircraft claiming that they were hit by a drones rather then admitting to poor maintenance or pilot error - no evidence (even following investigation)!
Not one plane brought down so far by a drone… On the same grounds, all birds should be taxed to fly as they have caused planes to crash!

The costs of the database are extremely overinflated…
1 main PC with database and storage
2 work stations
2 alternate location backup PCs
A broadband link and a database and web site programmer
2 operators.
2 desks and 2 chairs.
A room in a building.
This does not cost over a million! Someone is lining their pockets and getting paid a fortune on the back of this.

What kind of hardware upgrades are they planning per year with a £million. Again some fat cat is licking their several hundred pound per year lips!

Why is drone registration a subscription / hobby tax and not just a one off payment! I register as a drone pilot, put my registration number on my RC equipment… done! Why do I need to tell you every year!

I’ve been flying RC for 30 plus years, I generally fly in a field or off a hill in the middle of nowhere with a group of friends. What harm is this to anyone else and why do I need to pay to have fun?

How much will this drone tax go up to next year and so on?

The CAA and UK government can’t be stupid enough to think that Joe Blogs terrorist will register their drone before causing mass chaos. So in reality registration is totally pointless and just another tax!

Once you own a drone, if you don’t fly it, will the police knock on your door if its not registered every year like it’s a gun?

When the next drone sighting occurs and happens to be in your area, will the police be reviewing the database for a list of locals who now must be criminals? Will you have your door knocked on?

Why does the FAA registration in the US cost $5.00? A driving licence costs about £20 every 10 years and road deaths are far more common than drone deaths!

I just think that this is wrong. Rant over!


Submitted my response yesterday, while not bothered with the cost at all, what I do still think is it’s a complete waste of time and or money.

Criminals will continue to do illegal things no matter what, so the only people affected are us. Who’s going to police the system?

The police are already stretched for resources so it becomes another tax. It’s already illegal for certain things to take place (scooters in roads etc) yet it still happens with no consequences because there’s no one to enforce the laws.

This forum could register as an operator for all drones and RC aircraft then we could register as pilots for free. Perfectly legal according to the current rules.

Would mean one payment instead of hundreds.

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Unfortunately I have a feeling that police will jump on this for an easy fine. The public eye is on drones, not so much scooters.