Unmanned Plane Programs (UAS), also referred to as drones or Remotely Piloted Aerial Programs, might deliver vital improvements to a number of industries, finally delivering advantages to customers and residents.
Wi-fi communications, and therefore the usage of radio spectrum, are important to the operation of drones.
Considered one of Ofcom tasks is to handle the UK’s radio spectrum. We now have been working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and with stakeholders to evaluation our framework for authorising tools that can be utilized on a drone, to assist allow the event of this rising business.
Drones at present use spectrum designated for mannequin plane or Wi-Fi which don’t require a Wi-fi Telegraphy Act licence, as these gadgets have been exempted from needing one by Ofcom.
Nonetheless, this regime shouldn’t be appropriate for a few of the rising use circumstances which might contain drones flying at larger altitudes and over longer ranges, generally going past visible line of sight. This is because of energy limitations of the licence-exempt gadgets that they use.
We’re proposing to introduce a brand new spectrum licence for drone operators, particularly these seeking to fly past visible line of sight utilizing cellular or satellite tv for pc applied sciences. Our proposed Unmanned Plane System (UAS) Operator Radio licence would authorise the licensed operator to make use of a variety of applied sciences on their UAS/drone fleet that aren’t at present permitted in the present day, together with:
• cellular and satellite tv for pc terminals for management and transmission of information and video; and
• security tools to allow the UAS to keep away from collisions and combine safely into the UK’s airspace.
The proposed licence would cowl a variety of kit that an operator could select to make use of or be required to hold by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). If a licensee needs to make use of a cellular expertise that connects to a public cellular community they’ll want, earlier than doing so, to acquire permission from the operator of the community they want to use. We’re proposing that the licence can be topic to an annual payment of £75.
Our proposed licence wouldn’t exchange the present licence exemption regime for low energy 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz tools which most drones in the marketplace at present fall beneath in the present day.
Along with a licence to make use of the spectrum, operators will proceed to want to stick to any air security necessities concerning the operation of their UAS set by the CAA, the UK’s aviation regulator.
Stakeholders are invited to reply by 5 September 2022.