Belfast Telegraph

Tougher drone safety rules urged

Most people think there should be stricter rules on the qualifications for flying a drone in urban areas, according to a new report.

A survey of over 2,000 adults by the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) also showed that half think there should be prison sentences for those flying drones in a way that endangers an aircraft.

The study, which will be presented at a Drone Safety Summit today organised by UK pilots, revealed that around a third of those polled think no one should be able to fly drones over urban areas.

Balpa general secretary Jim McAuslan said: "Drone technology is taking off and we want to make sure the country can benefit from the business and leisure opportunities that it could offer without putting flight safety at risk. Pilots and the public want the UK to be a 'safe drone zone' and these polling results show that the public backs stricter laws on training for drone pilots and punishment for endangering aircraft.

"The UK can lead the way on safely introducing small drones and set the standard for the passenger aircraft of the future.

"Pilots are also calling for the British public to be informed, involved and consulted before companies fly large, remotely-piloted aircraft over their homes and alongside their passenger planes."