Drone regulation is at a crossroads. All over Europe, and of course other parts of the world, policymakers are trying to figure out how best to deal with this emerging technology that barely mattered ten years ago but now promises to create a multibillion-Euro market.
In our recent analysis piece about the future regulation of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), we provided some insight into the main EU institutions and agencies involved in the creation of harmonised rules across Europe. Since then, the 2016 deadline the European Commission had initially set for new regulations to be approved has been removed, and not replaced.
About a year ago, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon were testing unmanned drones – called Octopers – to start delivering packages to customers in five years’ time. This announcement gave Amazon a PR boost; and was perhaps also initiated in the hope of raising awareness around businesses being given authorisation to use drones commercially.
According to the US drone industry, regulation is necessary for it to be profitable, as current regulations in most jurisdictions prevent unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from flying over densely populated areas.