“Since I have been here, since 2003, we have maintained a steady number of 35-36,000 members. We have lost 2,000 this year and expect we will lose significantly more next year as a direct result of this.
You raise the threshold for participation and people decide they are not going to bother.
The new scheme, called the Drone Registration and Education Scheme, aims to crackdown on rogue and malicious use of drones, which have exploded in popularity in recent years.
Last December, flights were grounded at Gatwick Airport for three days after multiple sightings of drones in its airspace.
BMFA members are exempt from the requirement to register their model aircraft with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) until the point they renew their membership in 2020.
Under existing laws, model aircraft and drone pilots must fly in a safe manner and keep their devices in direct sight at all times.
It is also illegal to fly them within three miles of an airport or above 400ft.
Pilots who flout the height and airport boundary restrictions or fly negligently could face an unlimited fine, up to five years in prison, or both.
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