From 30th November, it will be mandatory for all drone ownerss or model aircraft owners of drones/planes weighing more than 250g (8.8oz) up to 20kg (44lbs) to register their details with the CAA (this is called an OperatorID). Owners of unregistered drones after December 1st could then face a fine of up to £2000. Any drone that you are responsible for will need a label placed on it with your OperatorID clearly put on it.
If you do not own a drone/plane but fly them, you will be required to have a FlyerID, though if you hold a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) you do not require the FlyerID.
What is most interesting is that this applies to everyone, whether commercial, hobbyist or someone who got a drone for Christmas. There is an age limit of 13yrs for the FlyerID though the parent/guardian will need to register as the responsible party.
Registration is simple, you register here for both types of registrations and it is a simple 20 question form which references the CAA Drone and Model Aircraft Code (psst – you can use it whilst you fill out the questionnaire!). I took this earlier and got a full 20/20 with only one tricky question about commercial filming that got me stuck for a minute.
I initially questioned why it was that the users and not the drones themselves had to be registered, and response from CAA was that they looked at where drone racers or commercial users may have more than one device and also tried to make sure that what they put in place met with the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) safety requirements that will come in next year.
Interestingly, all this coincides with a service that the CAA is starting which it hopes will reunite owners with their lost drones.