Amateur drone users should be compelled to register their device on a database or app as part of new measures to improve drone safety, a House of Lords committee has urged.

Committee chairman Baroness O’Cathain said: ‘The growth in civilian drone use has been astonishing and they are taking to the skies faster than anyone could have predicted.

‘We have a huge opportunity to make Europe a world leader in drone technology.

‘But there’s also a risk – public understanding of how to use drones safely may not keep pace with people’s appetite to fly them.

‘It would just take one disastrous accident to destroy public confidence and set the whole industry back.’

‘So we need to find ways to manage and keep track of drone traffic.

‘That is why a key recommendation is that drone flights must be traceable, effectively through an online database, which the general public could access via an app.

‘We need to use technology creatively, not just to manage the skies, but to help police them as well.’

The committee also said it supports ‘greater police involvement in enforcing existing laws’.

Last year a suspected drone came within 20ft of the wing of a plane as it came into land at Heathrow.

The committee recommended that the online database apply to commercial operators in the near future, to encompass ‘leisure users’ over the longer term.

Drones could lead to the creation of 150,000 jobs by 2050, added the House of Lords EU Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment Sub-Committee.

A drone database: Good or bad? Do you have a view?

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