COMMONS

Drones inquiry launched

30 March 2017

The Transport Committee launches an inquiry into civilian drones. The aim of this inquiry is to consider how the benefits of drone technology can be maximised within a robust safety framework.

Background

Use of civilian drones in the UK – both recreational and commercial – is increasing. Drones are now used for a wide range of purposes and there is a significant scope for expansion in the future. A report by PwC found that the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at over $127 billion.

However, the increasing use of drones also raises a number of regulatory and operational issues. This includes risk to other aircraft – an area where laser pens are also an increasing concern. The Department has recently consulted on its drones policy.

Call for written submissions

The Committee is particularly interested in receiving submissions addressing some or all of the following:

  • The safety and security risks posed by drones, particularly to manned aircraft
  • The role of technology in enabling safe and sustainable growth in the civilian drones sector
  • The likely effectiveness of key government proposals in its recent consultation, including pilot training and the proposed online registration scheme
  • The current enforcement arrangements for misuse of drones in the UK
  • Insurance issues and actions needed to create a viable market for drones insurance
  • The economic growth potential of the drones industry in the UK and the Government's role in enabling that growth

In addition to the evidence sought on drones, the Committee would be interested in evidence on the likely effects of the measures in the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill on the dangers posed by the use of laser pens to distract the pilots of aircraft.

The Committee would be grateful to receive written submissions by Friday 26 May 2017.

Chair's comment

Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Transport Committee said:

"Civilian drones have the potential to fundamentally change how many industries – including the transport sector – work. This inquiry will consider the implications of this technology. We will also be asking whether enough is being done to ensure drone technology can reach its potential without compromising the safety of other aircraft and the public in general."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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