CAA remind drone users of the safety rules in force

Strict guidelines dictate usage of drones
Strict guidelines dictate usage of drones

For children and adults of all ages who unwrap their Christmas presents to find a brand new drone, aviation safety may be the last thing on their minds.

Surveys suggest that the flying craft - some costing less than £50 — could be one of the must-have toys this Christmas.

Police Scotland and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are keen for people to have fun this Christmas but are urging those who receive them, and the parents of children who are given them, to check they stay on the right side of the law and to think before they send them skyward.

Noting that there has been a significant increase in the availability of small and affordable drones in the UK in recent years, the CAA has warned that users must obey the rules of the air. The use of UAVs is covered by strict rules set by the Civil Aviation Authority, the organisation that regulates aircraft and air traffic controllers across the UK.

They may only be used in unpopulated areas up to 120m (400ft) above ground level, they may not be flown at night or through clouds or fog, they may not be flown more than 500m away from their operator.

In addition they may not operate over or within 150 metres of any congested area of a city or town; or within 50 metres of any person, vessel, or structure not under the control of the Pilot.

For more info, see www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-Industry/Aircraft/Unmanned-aircraft/Unmanned-Aircraft.