Since terrorists started utilizing drones in combat, some Senators in the Australian Parliament have called for drone sales freeze.
Since a rise in drones has been used by Isis, the question of why more hasn’t been done is becoming more of a concern. Of course, this process has been taking a time to get to this point. A safety review which was supposed to have taken place 8 months ago is still not taken place.
As early as Sept 29th, 2016, as an example, there is an allowance to fly a commercial drone up to 2KG without a license. The thought is, if you fly a drone for pleasure, without any economic gain, you do not need to be certified as long as you follow the safety rules. Some of those rules include:
- Fly during the day and within line of sight.
- You have to see the aircraft with your own eyes.
- Keep away from prohibited areas
- Do not impede search and rescue.
There are more but you get the general idea. Even in places such as the United States, there is the recent successful challenge to the FAA’s ruling on drone registration which caused the demand for drone registration to be dropped. However, the tug of war on what to do with the increasing popularity of drones has taken a hard line.
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There are always the cringe-worthy news items of drone operators impeding with commercial aviation in places where there is large aircraft traffic such as London’s Heathrow airport-which has documented a few incidents in the past year alone.
There have been attempts to drop contraband over prison walls which can be quite hard as smaller drones do not weigh more than 2 KG. In fact, incidents of Isis using drones as small as 4 KG have been documented. Those incidents have led to more PR for the bad guys.
What has elevated the concern are videos circulating on Isis using drones to drop grenades. In fact, there are a number of reference points on this including Isis using initially homemade drones. Later, commercial drones were used, with mixed results. Why commercial drones are not a good choice is because it is hard to alter the use of a drone, much like a laptop. Lawmakers have also failed to determine a more common use of attack such as driving a truck into a crowd, such as what happened in Sweden more recently.
Senators in the Australian Parliament were addressed by infrastructure department boss Mike Mrdak on whether the drone sales freeze regulations were adequate. One such coalition leader Barry O’Sullivan states, “We’ve allowed 50,000 of these up into airspace while we’re having a think about how they should operate. I’m trying to see if I’m the only one concerned on this.”