MEPs adopted on 29 October a report on the safe use of unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones. They feel new rules are needed in order to boost development without too much red tape to deter investment. Watch our video interview with report author Jacqueline Foster to find out more about the opportunities for growth in the drones sector and how to ensure they can be safely used.
The report was adopted with 581 votes in favour, 31 against and 21 abstentions.
"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."
“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 in committee on 15 September.
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.
Drones should be included in the aviation package, which the European Commission is due to release by the end of this year.