07:25 GMT31 October 2020
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    Today is the deadline for UK drone pilots to register their details with the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, with those who fail to do so potentially be subjected to one thousand pound fines going forward.

    But will this measure actually help reduce drone-related chaos at airports? Sputnik spoke with Andrew McQuillan from Crowded Space Drones to get his views on the issue.

    Sputnik: Will the drone regulations put in place by the UK help reduce malicious use of the technology?

    Andrew McQuillan: I don’t necessarily think that it’s going to lead to a reduction in the number of incidents, but it means that whenever we do have an incident; it’s more accountable and we have better technology that can detect the operator’s details, so it can resolve incidents quicker, and it can also mean that we can work out a lot quicker if a drone that is flying somewhere is a threat or not, if it’s a fully registered and licensed drone from a local area, it’s probably not a threat compared to one that isn’t licensed.

    In the same sense, if a car’s got a registration license displayed; and it can be checked out, that’s fine, but if it doesn’t it could potentially be a risk.

    Sputnik: Could other countries follow suit with similar legislation?

    Andrew McQuillan: At some point there will be integration across Europe, so these new rules are what other countries are doing, the idea is that eventually through the European Aviation Body, to make it easier to fly in each country, and so if I registered my drone in the UK, I could go to other countries and fly easily.

    It is trying to open airspace up, people might not see that at the moment, but this is part of a long term plan to make it easier to fly drones across the whole of Europe.

    There are new powers coming in for police as well, in terms of fixed penalties and to be able to tell somebody to land a drone for example, which could help in terms of bad incidents of drone misuse, the pressure is off them by trying to make drone pilots themselves more responsible.

    Sputnik: Have drone pilots been demonised by the press?

    Andrew McQuillan: I know a lot of drone pilots feel like they have been demonised. The problem is that there have been very high profile cases of malicious use of drones doing deliberate attacks or attempts to disrupt, and that will always get a lot of press attention, and rightly so, it should be completely condemned and dealt with.

    That being said; there’s lots of good, positive uses of drones such as search and rescue for people and animals, but they don’t get as much press attention internationally, and that probably influences how drone pilots feel, they probably feel that this is a tax on them.

    The reality is that if you want to do things like drive a car; that costs you an amount of money and all we’re talking about with drones is nine pounds, which on the scale of spending hundreds of pounds on a drone, is a very small amount of money.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    registration, pilot, drone, U.K
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