Is 250g a sensible minimum mass for drone registration?
The 250g minimum mass for drone registration seems sensible at first glance and in a lot of ways it is. However, drone tech has come a long way in the 4 years or so since EASA began proposing the drone regulations that have led to this point.
This post is really just some thoughts having updated my main post on UK drone registration yesterday.
is 250g still a sensible minimum mass for drone registration?
The 250g minimum mass for registration is an interesting one. At the time the regulations were developed, anything below 250g was considered a “toy”, so that mass was set to mean little Jonny with his Airhog in the garden didn’t have to worry about registering. 4 years is a long time in the drone industry. My Babyhawk R Pro in the photo is quite capable of 0-80mph in under 2 seconds, has no GPS and very little in the way of failsafes except motor cut or an uncertain hover descent. As it weighs 145g, including battery, it is exempt from registration. A DJI Spark weighs 300g, has full GPS return to home, forward collision avoidance and a top speed of 30mph in “sport” mode. You will have to register your Spark.
The 250g minimum mass has also prompted a bit of an arms race in fixed-wing as well, with people seeing how big a plane they can make and still come under the registration mass. So it’s basically now doing for the bottom end what the 7kg limit (for those of you that remember the crazy DJI S900 mods) did for the top end a few years back.
It goes to show, yet again, that some of the ways the manned world works (mainly mass driven) do not necessarily translate to drones. Interesting times.
I hope that helps, if you think any of this content is incorrect or you have further questions, please let me know on the Facebook group or at firstname.lastname@example.org