By 2021, there could be over 30 million remotely piloted aircraft commonly referred to as drones—in the hands of hobbyists and commercial users all around the world.
With all of these unmanned aircraft systems (UAV) taking to the skies, the question remains – how can you safely integrate them into existing shared airspace?
Here we will discuss a few steps that need to be implemented on all drones before flying in a shared Airspace.
1.Public awareness campaign
The general public, recreational/occasional drone users, as well as commercial clients, must be aware of the safety risks, duties, liabilities, insurance requirements, responsibilities and third-party privacy issues associated with drone operations. This is essential as lack of awareness and negligence might result in the possibility to monitor third parties, or in case of malfunctions, to cause harm to them. Significantly more resources must, therefore, be dedicated to this aspect of drone integration into the airspace.
2. Registration of all drones
All drone users whether it be Recreational or commercial should register themselves with the concerned authorities to ensure the safe and legal usage of Aerial Drones.
3. Mandatory training and certificate/license
Obtaining a certificate or license – depending on the properties, performance and features of the drone – creates awareness and mandates knowledge of the applicable regulations and restrictions and helps to develop necessary skills. A solid knowledge base is a must, considering the complexity of the national related aviation regulations.
Moreover, a legally required certificate or license also enhances the ability to enforce rules. Operating a drone is thereby reserved for people who have acquired permission to do so. This requirement should be mandatory except for the harmless drones. This category of drones is understood to do no harm to people (e.g. be limited to a maximum weight of 250g and a radius of action of no more than 50 meters from the pilot).
4. Technical Performance Limitations
By means of built-in geo-fencing and altitude/distance restrictions the safety risks concerning critical airspace, terrain, and buildings can be significantly reduced. Anti-collision technologies should also be considered where available. Build-in limitations should compensate for the lack of competence of the drone pilot. Companies like DJI has already implemented these technical restrictions.