Drones: the European Parliament calls for regulations to guarantee safety

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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. The transport committee adopted a report on this on 15 September. Find out more about the opportunities, the need for proper training and what should be done about the privacy issue in our video interview with Jacqueline Foster, who is in charge of steering the new rules through Parliament.

“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.”

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“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.

MEPs will vote on the resolution during the plenary session at the end of October.