The UK’s main air navigation service provider and the trade association that represents drone users have joined forces to promote the safe use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).

NATS will work with ARPAS UK to help operators of the increasingly popular appliances understand their responsibilities.

While commercial use of RPAS – some of which are capable of reaching heights of up to 2,000ft – is tightly regulated, it is easy to buy and use one without any training and those found violating airspace rules risk criminal prosecution.

"Drones are now both incredibly popular consumer gadgets, as well as potential business tools," said James Harvey, small RPAS safety lead at NATS. "By working together with ARPAS UK we want not only to encourage the growth of the industry, but also to ensure that it is done in a safe and integrated way."

ARPAS UK’s chairman Philip Tarry said: "This new agreement will improve the communication within the industry and encourage an attitude of information dissemination for the greater good. ARPAS UK is delighted to have formed this safety partnership with NATS and we look forward to fostering this relationship throughout 2015."