Remember – A Drone is not just for Christmas

Christmas is just about upon us and the National News is reporting changes to Drone Laws effective early 2018, with the current interest and popularity of drones there will be many of all age groups out there who have a Drone on there Christmas wish list, which results in an increase to the numbers of inexperienced and unskilled Drone Pilots taking to the skies before the year is out. The last thing an “Air Traffic Controller” or “Emergency Services” wants to hear is that a drone is in close proximity either to the airport, aircraft on the ground, aircraft on approach or about to take-off or worse scenario an aircraft in flight. These last 12 months alone there have over 50 numerous reports or near misses throughout the world of sightings, incidents and near misses with category “A” incidents in the UK at Heathrow, London City and Manchester and a near miss at Stansted, which saw a drone, fly over a Boeing 737 by about 16ft when the aircraft was at 4,000ft during take-off. Other International airports, Gatwick, Dubai and Delhi in this past year have also had to closedown airspace to all air traffic due to drones being sighted in close proximity and a BA Flight on approach into London was reported as being hit by a Drone at an elevation of 580m. The Drone Laws will change early 2018 as reported and the Police will have more powers, also the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) have already voiced there concerns and requested that action must be taken to prevent a “catastrophic accident” while the Department for Transport (DfT) are already working to create a “regulatory framework and industry best practices focusing on safety” to harmonise all drone operations.
So although the Laws will change in 2018, what about now and back to where this article started, Christmas is on us and inexperienced folks will receive a drone as a present and eager to fly it ASAP. This is fully understandable as both for pleasure and commercial this fantastic innovative technology is great fun, but remember there are rules to be followed and following these rules will not only keep you safe, but all others as well. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA in the UK) makes available both online safety guidance notes and publishes drone safety rules all of which are available, as do the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) who are a CAA approved NQE (National Qualified Entity) and provide training and commercial qualification which is Governed by the CAA to an approved course syllabus (CAP 722 Sixth Edition March 2015) They also provide drone expertise on the NATS website and have a mobile phone app, Drone Assist and Drone Safe and much more free information available to ensure safe flying for all on their website. There are many Approved CAA NQEs across the UK who you can contact and it is also recommended to take advice from your responsible retail outlets such as Marionville Models, a Scottish based company who offer drone-training courses to get you in the air safely as a hobby, but not for commercial purposes. For commercial you require to undertake the Full Training Course and Qualification Exams provided by a CAA approved NQE. Many people may still read online how easy these top of the range drones are with sophisticated innovation, obstacle avoidance, auto take off, auto landing, return to home safety features and how easy it is to fly a drone. The recommendation remains from myself at Eye in the Sky Glasgow and all professional groups until the “New Safety Laws” are in place is follow experienced guidance and remember, Safety First Always and If in Doubt – Ask….Before You Take-Off….

About Director

Eye in the Sky Glasgow was founded 2017 and operated by its Director of Operations John Crawford. We are committed to providing Drone Service`s for all with our services including but are not limited too high-level non-intrusive Inspections, Surveys and Aerial Marketing Photography. If you identify any work where our expertise can contribute to your success then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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