Commercial Drones PilotsDrone owners face drink-fly ban

October 2, 2021by helo-10

Drone owners face alcohol limits similar to drink-driving restrictions in an attempt to stop the aircraft causing havoc in airspace.

The Government is consulting on blood and breath alcohol thresholds as part of a revamp of flight laws designed to encourage technologies such as aerial taxis.

A consultation paper last week proposed that the limit for amateur pilots would be set at 29 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 13 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.

This would be more than twice as strict as the existing alcohol limit for driving on the road, which is set at 80 milligrammes for blood and 35 micrograms for breath.

The proposed limits would mean that the average adult male in the UK, weighing 13 stone and five pounds, would be over the limit for piloting a drone after one pint of beer with a 5pc alcohol volume.

Stricter limits would be enforced for so-called “specific category” flights, licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority, such as flying drones for wedding photography or building inspections, and for “certified category” operations such as piloting aerial vehicles that carry passengers.

In these cases, the blood alcohol limit would be set at 20 milligrammes, the same level that currently applies to aeroplane pilots.

In a consultation paper, the Department for Transport said it was planning strict limits because of the potential havoc such flights can cause.

“The limits that we are proposing for all three categories are relatively low as unmanned aircraft have the potential to cause substantial harm to those on the ground or to other forms of aviation, regardless of the category of operation in which the flight occurs,” it said.

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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