In a first, Europe-wide rules for the registration and certification of drones have been agreed upon. New laws that will see more drones requiring registration are coming into effect in Ireland this year. This is in the aftermath of the chaos at Gatwick Airport in London last month that led to major disruption of flights, with the culprit still unaccounted for. Cork Airport was also affected when they were forced to halt flights due to drones in the sky.
Drone registration in Ireland has been mandatory since 2015 and previously drones over 1KG had to be registered compulsorily. Now drones owners with drones weighing more than 250 grams will have to register their device. According to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), there are more than 11,000 drones registered in Ireland – up from over 8,500 in December 2017.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said people who own and operate drones have a responsibility to ensure they are used in a careful manner.
“Many people will have gotten drones as Christmas presents this year and will be perhaps looking to purchase them in the January sales. With an exponential year-on-year growth of drone-related incidents, it is quite clear that drones will be a major safety challenge in the years to come. We should never forget that drones can do harm to people, they are a significant security threat and a risk to aircraft.”
Clune added, “Drones are a sector of aviation that is fast developing and offers great potential to produce new jobs and growth. The increased use of drones does however bring up a range of legal and commercial issues, including public safety.”
Drones might seem like tiny harmless remote controlled toys up in the sky for a ride; however there lies a huge responsibility on the part of the drone owners if situations like the standstill at Gatwick affecting thousands of people are to be avoided. It is the collective responsibility of drone owners the world over to ensure their hobby does not cause security concerns to the general public and transport facilities.