Friday, 23 December 2016

Drone Prosecutions

At any of the UAV/UAS/RPAS/SUA/Drone events one of the major talking points has been regulation and prosecution of unlicensed operators. This is a major concern, whether it was at the kick off meet of the UAAI, or the SCSi Working Group on RPAS, or at Survey Ireland, or Drone X. Each week videos pop up on youtube which have been captured in clearly unsafe conditions, by unlicensed operators. This understandably annoys the operators who are playing by the rules and the example is regularly given of Director A who needs 30 seconds of aerial footage for the next episode of their show but needs it this week. They ask Operator A who has a license but cannot get the required permissions in time. He regrettably turns it down,. Operator B who has no insurance, no regard for safety or proper operating procedure gets the 30 seconds of footage and so the business. The word on the street was that a prosecution was coming - but the news broke in the last few weeks that the DPP thought a drone prosecution was too heavy handed. This makes me concerned that we will not get on top of regulation any time soon and the people who play by the rules will be the losers. We have had a drone crash - total IMU failure - and others will too so these safety procedures are essential. As a colleague of mine regularly says - "if you have never crashed your drone you're not flying enough".

I remember coming up to Christmas last year the rush to get the new regs in place as the IAA were expecting a flurry of drone purchases over the holidays (I even saw one for sale in the pound shop). It seems over 6,000 drones have been registered in 2016 alone! 

1 comment:

  1. I fear it may be too little too late at this stage. We have so many drones in private hands the 6000 in 2016 might just be a drop in the ocean.


About Me

My photo
My name is Conor. I am a Lecturer at the Department of Geography at Maynooth University. These few lines will (hopefully) chart my progress through academia and the world of research.