In recent years, the regulation of policy areas like privacy, genetically modified foods and pollution has shown that different countries can take wildly divergent approaches. The regulation of noise is a similarly subjective issue of great relevance to the emerging tech of electric vehicles and drones, in particular.
The many and varied ways in which drones have already been deployed to aid the public sector are often overlooked. Some of the most significant examples include emergency services, environmental monitoring and protection, and infrastructure maintenance and inspection.
Tighter drone regulation is on its way all acorss Europe, with EASA about to finalise its long-awaited blueprint. But some of the more difficult questions remain unanswered. And they are set to the define the industry for many years to come.
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.