Drone registration scheme backed by major contractors

Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine are among the major contractors that have signed up for a new drone registration scheme launched by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

UK drone pilots have until the end of November to register with the CAA if they own and operate drones or model aircraft weighing more than 250g, with the risk of a fine of up to £1,000 if they don’t comply.

As well as registering, anyone flying a drone over 250g must take an online education course and test.

A host of well-known construction firms have already signed up, showing the extent to which drones are now used in the construction sector. They include:

Aecom; Atkins; Balfour Beatty; Bam Nuttall; Bardsley Construction; Berkeley Homes; Breedon Northern; Breheny Civil Engineering; Buckingham Group; Caterpillar; Costain; Croudace Homes Group; Dragados UK; Eric Wright Construction; Finning (UK); Gallagher; Gleeds; Graham Group; John Sisk & Son; Kier; Laing O’Rourke; Lindum Group; Mott MacDonald Bentley; Sir Robert McAlpine; Skanska Construction.

Registration will also give drone owners access to a new platform to help recover the thousands of drones lost in the UK each year, called Drones Reunited.

The CAA pointed to research showing that 26% of drone owners have lost a drone at some point, with more than half of misplaced drones (51%) going missing due to battery loss, poor signal, or technology failure.

Jonathan Nicholson, assistant director of communications, CAA, said: “Drones Reunited is a UK-first – an essential service that is only possible thanks to the drone registration scheme that is also launched today. The service is about giving something back to the community, helping responsible drone owners and operators to be reunited with lost drones and continue flying. 

“Our aim is for the Drones Reunited platform to become an essential service for the drone community – the first port of call for anyone who has lost, or found, a drone.”

The Drones Reunited platform can be accessed here: 

Users can now also register as a drone operator and/or flyer here:

Image: Benjawan Sittidech/

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