Consultation: Spectrum for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
- Start: 10 June 2022
- Status: Open
- End: 05 September 2022
We are proposing to introduce a new spectrum licence for drone operators, especially those looking to fly beyond visual line of sight using mobile or satellite technologies. Our proposed Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Operator Radio licence would authorise the licensed operator to use a range of technologies on their UAS/drone fleet that are not currently permitted today, including:
- mobile and satellite terminals for control and transmission of data and video; and
- safety equipment to enable the UAS to avoid collisions and integrate safely into the UK’s airspace.
The proposed licence would cover a range of equipment that an operator may choose to use or be required to carry by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). If a licensee wishes to use a mobile technology that connects to a public mobile network they will need, before doing so, to obtain permission from the operator of the network they wish to use. We are proposing that the licence would be subject to an annual fee of £75.
Our proposed licence would not replace the current licence exemption regime for low power 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz equipment which most drones on the market currently fall under today.
In addition to a licence to use the spectrum, operators will continue to need to adhere to any air safety requirements regarding the operation of their UAS set by the CAA, the UK’s aviation regulator.
Stakeholders are invited to respond by 5 September 2022.
Responding to this consultation
Please submit responses using the consultation response form (ODT, 48.9 KB).
We have noticed a slight error in Table 1 (p25) and the same corresponding table in the Table in Schedule 2 of the proposed licence (p37). For the 1800 MHz band the frequency listed in the document was 1710 to 1785 MHz & 1805 to 1880 MHz however, this should have been 1710 to 1781.7 MHz & 1805 to 1876.7 MHz. The original frequency listed in the tables would have given the impression that we were going to permit UAS to use frequencies allocated at a local level to Shared Access licensees in the 1781.7 – 1785 & 1876.7-1880 MHz band. This is not the case due to the potential risk of interference between users. We have now corrected these figures in the tables.
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