One of the first jobs MEPs face after the summer break is civilian drones. They are becoming increasingly popular, increasingly cheap, accessible and useful. And, for some, increasingly a noise nuisance and invader of privacy.
What is behind the definition of the future of drone technology as a transformative technology?
Jacqueline Foster: What we have seen over the last 15 years from a commercial point of view is a huge growth in this industry. We are looking at civil drones being used to check crops in fields, vast fields of crops. There may be forest fires. They check railway lines. The film industry. The growth, really, over the last 10-15 years has now become absolutely huge.
JF: "Clearly, there are different types of drones, but as a general rule, if you are operating a drone, and you are a farmer in a field, and you are operating a drone in a football stadium, there are two different requirements, because there will be no people in the fields. But the same size in a football stadium could cause damage. We want to be sure that there are appropriate flying schools where people can be licensed properly. Whenever they will be used it has to be at the appropriate level of training of the operator."
What can you do to reduce the drones' threat?
Drones represent a completely new challenge for existing security systems. Will we have to react passively by only blocking the view or are we allowed to interfere with them and bring them to crash?
JF: "Nobody has a right to invade somebody's privacy. And we have national legislation already in place as well as EU-wide legislation in terms of protection and in terms of privacy rules, so I don't see the need to have additional rules. What we need to make sure is that this is properly enforced and all the Member States have laws in place that can enforce this.
Credit to EuroparlTV