Europe’s drones sector offers exciting opportunities for growth, however new rules are needed to ensure they can be used safely, but without deterring investment. MEPs are due to debate and vote on a report on the safe use of drones on Thursday 29 October. The report was already approved by the transport committee on 15 September. Watch our video interview with report author Jacqueline Foster and follow the debate and vote live online.20150916PHT93490_original

“What we have seen over the last 15 years is a huge growth in this industry,” said Foster, who is a UK member of the ECR group. “Civil drones are being used to check crops in the fields, to look at humanitarian disasters, forest fires and railway lines, in the film industry.” She added: “We want to make sure there are appropriate flying schools.” Regarding the issue of privacy, she said there was already national and EU legislation on this: “I do not see the need to have additional rules.”

“The key here is to ensure the safe use of drones. We do not want to tie the hands of regulators and be too prescriptive, but provide a framework for how they can proceed,” she said after the vote.

According to the transport committee drones must be able to detect aircraft using the same airspace, ensuring that there is no risk to the safety of manned aircraft. In addition committtee members believe densely-populated areas, no-fly zones, such as airports, power plants, nuclear and chemical plants, and other critical infrastructure, should be taken into consideration.

Next steps

Drones should be included in the aviation package, which the European Commission is due to release by the end of this year.


Original source: European Parliament