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Drone safety consultation launched

Designed to prevent the misuse of drones, the government has launched a consultation looking at new measures, including on-the-spot fines and the ability to seize them.

A consultation regarding drone safety has been launched
A consultation regarding drone safety has been launched
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Drone safety consultation launched

Designed to prevent the misuse of drones, the government has launched a consultation looking at new measures, including on-the-spot fines and the ability to seize them if necessary.


This follows updates to the Air Navigation Order which came into force on July 30 2018; implementing new height and airport boundary restrictions.


Baroness Sugg, Aviation Minister, says; “Drones present exciting benefits to our society and our economy, but with a small group of people choosing to use them for harm there are challenges we must overcome if we are to prevent them hindering the potential of this technology.”


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Like many industries, drones in agriculture are becoming more mainstream as the technology and affordability continues to advance. Applications include crop monitoring of nutrients and disease, field mapping and livestock monitoring.

 

Jack Wrangham of DroneAG welcomes the consultation. He says; “We see the consultation as a good opportunity for the commercial drone industry. It should allow for easier operation on farmland, and we do not see anymore restrictions for the commercial sector in the short term coming from the consultation. With the technological development happening presently, the use of drones is set to increase and any consultation where commercial use can be portrayed favourably is a good thing.”

 

The proposed measures are aimed at future proofing and safe guarding the use of drones for commercial and recreational users.

 

The consultation closes 17 September 2018, and can be accessed here.

Proposed measures include:

  • Police issuing fixed penalty notices to those disregarding drone rules
  • Using new counter-drone technology to protect public events and critical national infrastructure and stop contraband reaching prisons
  • Introducing minimum age restrictions for drone owners in addition to new tests they will need to take
  • Proposals for regulating and mandating the use of ‘apps’ on which pilots would file flight plans ahead of take-off
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