Control your drone!

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RegulationSeveral countries have already asked themselves how to maximize safety in the flight of RPAs (also known as “drones” in common language) and how to reduce incidences.

RegulationSeveral countries have already asked themselves how to maximize safety in the flight of RPAs (also known as “drones” in common language) and how to reduce incidences.

 

Last year, the United States, through the Federal Aviation Administration, adopted a regulation that requires all the RPAs users to get registered, both professionals as amateurs, and even the so-called “toy drones”. Last April, in a conference organized by the Royal Aeronautical Society UAS Group in the United Kingdom, the possibility of creating a record in that country was also discussed, considering the world boom of the drones industry applications market (see charts below) and the forecasts for next years, estimated to reach 127 billion dollars, according to several studies such as Business Insider’s and the consulting firm PWC’s.

 

In Europe there is no such thing as a register of drones for recreational use. Each country holds its own records. For instance, in Spain, there is only one register of authorized companies – operators that carry out technical and/or scientific work with drones.

 
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Facing this sales boom of small RPAs (drones) for private or recreational use by people with no previous experience in drones piloting and little knowledge of the regulation, the disclosure and training by the State party and/or the sector is essential, and so is to transfer the awareness of performing a responsible piloting – good practices and the observance of the regulatory framework of the concerned country, considering that, for every flight, the applied legislations are both the one from the country where the operating company is based, and the one from the country where the operation is performed. If they do not match, the more restrictive law is applied.

 

As the number of RPAs rises, so does the risk of accidents, though some news of incidents appearing on the media finally turn out to be rather different than what it seemed at first sight, such as the recent case of the British Airways aircraft, who reported having been close to crash with a drone that, eventually, turned out to be a plastic bag.

 

Most of the times, the sector regulation does not only apply for professional operators and pilots, but also regulates recreational uses; hence, the importance of knowing what we can and what we cannot do with our drone in order to be a responsible pilot, and to prevent significant fines as well.

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AESA advices

 

FAA advices

 

We also have to be very much aware that, if our drone carries a camera, additional regulations will have to be considered, such as the personal data protection law in the operator’s country.

 

Microsoft PowerPoint - 9. NATS.pptx [Last saved by user]

Another insight raised at the conference, which most of the delegates agreed on, was the need of instruction (for instance, including an explanatory brochure inside the boxes along with the user’s guide) and the empowerment of recreational-amateur users on the responsible use of drones and the existence of the regulation, so that, at the same time, it would help society to accept and to welcome the technology of civil drones, along with their contributions.

 

Good practices and responsible piloting of the RPAs is, both for the professional sector and for amateurs, a concept not to be underestimated, very much the opposite.

 

The less number of incidences occur and the greater control we can have over our drone, the more balanced and positive the news on the media will be. This could help to reduce current prohibitions both for professionals and amateurs, and help in turn to technologically develop RPAs and their uses and civil applications such as emergency aid, forecasting of fires, precision farming, rescue operations, environment preserving, ground analysis and endless current and future applications.

 

This post has been written by Nuria Sánchez Coll, pilot, CEO of Drone Creativo, proponent of good practices in RPAs operations and expert in Innovation and Leadership though CSR, in collaboration with AIRK.

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