Re: What's the difference
Most (but not all) model aircraft flyers already belong to one of the model flying associations, and as a result, carry third party insurance to the tune of £25Million (yes, that's right, £25 MILLION). This is necessary as many events are held on MOD property, and even the remotest chance accident could cause very expensive damage!
Very few people who casually buy recreational drones carry 3rd party insurance, or are even aware of it.
The model flying associations already hold a members register, and issue membership numbers, so for them, the proposed legislation is a massive duplication of effort. They also encourage members to take part in achievement schemes that go some way to assuring a degree of competence. These schemes also include questions on the legal requirements for model flying.
Again, few casual drone purchasers will have received any instruction in the legal or operational requirements for flying their drone.
The achievement scheme run by the British Model Flying Association (BMFA - the largest of the 4 UK associations) is far more demanding than that proposed by the DfT.
So whilst there may no legal (or much physical) distinction between model aircraft and drones, the pilots who operate model aircraft are generally far more aware of their legal obligations and responsibilities than casual drone operators.