The Drone Bill
Could this mean the end for the drone industry?
Bailey Thane Newcastle 5/12/18
Entrepreneurs Society, Newcastle University
What is the future use of drones?
In the past couple of years technological advancements have caused the price of consumer drones, like those made by DJI, to plummet. This has heightened the potential of the market, allowing innovation to prosper. A quick YouTube search will highlight some of the weird and wonderful ways that enthusiasts have altered and utilised the power of their drones, both in practical and novel applications.
In today’s climate, drones are more affordable, more easily accessible and more popular than ever before. But how far can their use be pushed? By increasing the accessibility people have to drones, a greater development would likely take place through experimentation.
However, one Drone Bill published by the UK Government could halt the industry’s planned growth. This bill will ban drones exceeding 400 feet and limit the ease with which we can purchase one, by adding a registration stage. Whilst there is a need for further regulation to prevent misuse, this also poses a danger in that popularity may stagnate, causing the U.K to miss out on this booming industry.
Laws on drones are necessary. However, there is a fine line between helpful laws and laws that could kill the industry. As a PfCO operator myself, I believe there is already enough of a process to obtain commercial permissions from the CAA and then to plan, mitigate hazards and execute projects. More of a workload would simply price commercial drone work out of the market.
For innovation to prosper the industry needs both commercial operators and hobbyists pushing drones into new areas and coming up with new applications. The only way more people are going to get involved with the technology is if the environment to do so remains simple, easy and affordable.
The potential for drones across the world is massive from delivery (Amazon), to human transport (KittyHawk), to simple commercial real estate and TV videography. This industry has shown signs of great potential, but there are fears that the Drone Bill could massively limit it in the forthcoming years.
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