The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is to run an online registration and competency testing service for drone operators.
It has begun a procurement process for a strategic partner in the discovery phase of the work, in response to the update in the Air Navigation Order published by the Department for Transport (DfT) in May.
It requires that the CAA manage an online service for drone registrations and payments and to test pilots.
Drone operators and remote pilots are likely to be the main users, being required to register and complete an online competency test. The system will also be used by CAA staff and authorised third parties such as the police.
A feasibility review has identified the need for a technical blueprint, a recommended delivery approach and outline solution with running costs.
The change in regulations announced in May are directed at keeping the skies safe from irresponsible drone flyers and will require owners of drones weighing at least 250g to register with the CAA and carry out competency tests.
A draft Drones Bill is expected to be published soon, which will give police more tailored powers to intervene if drones are being used inappropriately.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “We are seeing fast growth in the numbers of drones being used, both commercially and for fun.
“Whilst we want this industry to innovate and grow, we need to protect planes, helicopters and their passengers from the increasing numbers of drones in our skies.
“These new laws will help ensure drones are used safely and responsibly.”
Image by Henrique Boney, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons