Jo Gillespie

Author Archives: Jo Gillespie

EASA publishes proposed Drone Rules

European aviation regulator EASA has published a list of proposed new drone rules for operations within EU airspace. Take a look at a summary of these proposals on EASA’s website . Essentially they plan to divide drones into three categories based on the risk they present rather than take-off weight. Take-off weight has been the most popular drone categorisation for regulators like the UK CAA so far. Within the risk categories there will be further sub-divisions depending on the size of the drone and the type of operation.

These are just proposals for now and we all have until September to comment. The document explains how to do that.

Summary document

Summary document available on-line

April 4, 2016

New System to Warn Airports

A new system to warn airports about drones operating nearby has been announced in Aerotime . Called the Digital Notice & Awareness System or D-NAS it allows a drone operator to forewarn airports of planned operations in their vicinity ahead of time. D-NAS then transmits live GPS position information to the airport during the drone flight. The apps that we already use to monitor our drones in flight are utilised to forward data to the controllers over the internet. Simple but effective tools like these will help bring drone operations into the mainstream and reduce the bad press we sometimes get!

Bad Example from the BBC?

Was the drone footage of migrants camped on the Greece/Macedonia border a bad example from the BBC?

Right now there is a daily debate about the public use of drones; where and when they can fly, who can fly them, what is safe. Of course the UK CAA has published some easy to follow guidance in their Drone Code and if everyone stuck to it there would be less of an issue. But non-professional hobby drone fliers may not even be aware of the guidance or if they are they may not properly understand it all, so they might take their lead from what they see on TV. Which brings me to the BBC.

On Tuesday March 8th the BBC’s reporter was in the ever growing migrant/refugee encampment on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia. As he talked the video cut to some drone footage showing the appalling conditions and the sheer size of the camp – so far, so good (or so bad in fact…). Then the drone was clearly flown right over the camp and the thousands of people in it. Under the CAA rules this would not be permitted – surely this was an organised gathering of more than 1,000 people?

The CAA has no jurisdiction in Greece but this seems to set a very public example of breaching the UK rules.

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