UK authority warns new drone owners: Fly your Christmas gift safely, or you could be fined

Features Associated Press

Got a nifty little drone for Christmas? If so, fly it carefully. Especially if you are in Britain.

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The country's civil aviation authority on Thursday issued a warning that people who fly their drones recklessly face prosecution and a hefty fine.

Officials say the popular Christmas gifts cannot be used over congested areas or close to people or buildings without official permission. Fines go up to 5,000 pounds ($8,000).

Spokesman Gerry Corbett says drone technology has improved as costs have come down, making the devices much more affordable, but that new users have to follow regulations.

The warning follows a number of incidents and near-misses involving drones, including one that came close to a commercial plane landing at London Heathrow Airport.