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Increase in unauthorised drones

Increase in unauthorised drones

Monday 03 August 2020

Increase in unauthorised drones


A campaign has been launched to promote the safe use of drones, as Guernsey Ports announced that there had been an increase in unauthorised drones in "restricted areas" since lockdown.

The campaign is being jointly run by Guernsey Ports and the Director of Civil Aviation.

“We are concerned by the increase in the number of drone sightings,” said Ross Coppolo, Chief Operations Officer - Ports. “Particularly in locations where prior permission from Guernsey Ports is required in order to minimise the risk to airport and maritime operations,”

“We understand drone photography and video can offer spectacular footage of the Bailiwick but we would ask that drone operators familiarise themselves with the areas within the Bailiwick where prior permission is required.”

airport

Pictured: Prior permission is required for drone use in certain areas to ensure that their use doesn't conflict with the operation of Guernsey's airport and harbour.

In response to this, guidance has been issued that details the areas of the island where permission is required for flying drones. Some areas, such as land managed by the Vale Commons Council, the use of drones is entirely prohibited by laws applicable to the area. 

Commercial Drone Operator Elliot Cockett said that it is important that all drone users are aware of these restrictions.

“Using a UAS or drone needs to be carried out in a safe and controlled environment and manner,” said Mr Cockett. “It is vital that background research is carried out beforehand on flying locations.

“It is crucial to liaise with Guernsey Air Traffic Control, Guernsey Harbours and to notify the DCA when applicable.”

The Director of Civil Aviation for the Channel Islands Dominic Lazarus said: “Operating UAS or drones needs to be carried out in a safe and responsible manner that does not interfere with air traffic or maritime vessel movements. I am concerned about a number of unauthorised flights that have taken place and sightings published on social media platforms.

"The DCA is concerned about the detected unauthorised flying of UAS devices or drones near, or on the flight path of, departing aircraft, especially since late March 2020 when Covid-19 lockdown started. This is a worrying development, as an aircraft encountering a drone during take-off, a flight, or landing could result in dangerous consequences. The DCA is supporting Guernsey Ports’ campaign highlighting correct and compliant drone or UAS use and when operators should engage with the DCA and Guernsey Ports before such flights take place.

Guidance on the use of drones and the necessary permissions for flight can be viewed both at www.airport.gg/drones and www.harbours.gg/drones.

Pictured top: Guernsey Ports and the DCA have partnered on a campaign to raise awareness of protocols for safe drone use in the Channel Islands.

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