Lloyds insurers push for primary drone law

Primary legislation should be introduced in order to align the regulation of drone operations with those of manned aircraft, according to an influential insurance group.

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) aviation committee has submitted a detailed response to the United Kingdom Department for Transport’s (DfT) consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK which closed on 15 March.

As part of the LMA’s response, the committee suggested that the introduction of primary legislation would be necessary in order to align the regulation of drone operation with those of manned aircraft.

It was also suggested that a tiered knowledge and testing based system be developed to ensure continued high safety standards. Both these suggestions would allow insurers to smoothly transition between manned and unmanned aircraft systems, and would also ensure a framework on which insurers could base their products.

In addition, the LMA aviation committee stated that it would support: the provision of regional testing site for drones in response to the rapid increase in drone usage; the introduction of new competency standards and qualifications similar to driving licence testing to ensure common safety standards and; tailoring insurance requirements to reflect the risk profiles of different commercial uses.

The purpose of the consultation was to seek industry opinion as to how government policy, regulation, safety and operations of drones should be managed in the future. The DfT wants to ensure sustainable foundations for a developing drone market are in place to allow growth within this sector.

The LMA aviation committee is the representative voice of Lloyd’s managing agents writing aviation business. The Lloyd’s market accounts for approximately 20-25 per cent of airline risks covered globally, accounting for a gross premium income of around £30 billion per annum.

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