Dr Gbenga Oduntan, Associate Professor in International Commercial Law at the University of Kent shares his views on the matter.
Sputnik: Do you agree with the new drone ownership registration policy implemented by the British government?
Dr Gbenga Oduntan: All means of transportation throughout history have had to have been regulated in one way or another.
The regulation of air flights and instruments that can stay in the air dates back to 1784, when the first successful balloon flights took place, so there should be no vacuum in legislation because there would be mischief that will creep into this space.
Definitely having some sort of licence regime is a good place to start; otherwise it could lead to more problems like we’ve seen in the recent past, such as the closure of Gatwick Airport, which was a great danger to human beings and commercial aviation.
We cannot expect parliament to sit still and not do anything in the face of such a pressing development.
Sputnik: Could drones ever be banned from public use?
Dr Gbenga Oduntan: There’s a fine balance to be had and to be made between banning things outright and having regulated use.
I would be more on the side of regulated use; we didn’t ban everybody from flying in airspace or owning aircraft, so that’s not what we should be doing for drones either.
It just needs tighter regulation, even tighter than that of aeroplanes, because at least aeroplanes can be easily detected, they can be recovered after accidents, when needed we can track them down, they are big and can’t be concealed.
Drones will get increasingly more sophisticated, they will get smaller and they will have more technological power packed into them, that’s the reason why regulations surrounding them should be tighter, but they shouldn’t be banned
Sputnik: Should geographically close countries try and align their aviation laws?
Dr Gbenga Oduntan: Let’s not forget, what one country does for drones is not the same as another, so we have to have co-operation on these developments, otherwise we will be unduly harsh on populations of nearby places, and there may be countries where you can do everything with drones, so I think going forward it’s more about international regulation, because I suspect that most of the mischief that drones will present, will actually come from international threats, rather than national ones.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.