The risk that irresponsible drone users pose on the rest of us

The risk that irresponsible drone users pose on the rest of us

Over the busy holiday period we saw that tens of thousands of people were inconvenienced and no doubt airlines and the airport lost significant sums of money (the cynic in me suggests that big business losing money is more important to government than an inconvenienced public) all due to some yet to be identified individuals flying a drone over or near the airport. It is still not exactly clear to me what went wrong.

The issue that I am worried about is that if the number of people doing dumb things continues to rise then there is a real chance that some governments will simply ban the use or impose massive impositions on the law abiding sensible people.

In Victoria, there have been several incidents of people flying drones over areas where there are planned burns or where fire fighting aircraft have been fighting serious fires. In NSW during January 2018, alone 11 drones — six of which were within 20 nautical miles of the Sydney Airport — had near-encounters with aircraft.

All of this is just plain stupid.

In LMI’s business we find drones to be an invaluable tool to examine roofs after storms and fires, accident scenes, inside buildings after fires, damaged cranes, crop losses etc. It speeds up the assessment process and it reduces the risk of injury to our team of claims experts.

We follow the rules and have invested not only in the drones and cameras but also getting a chief pilot accreditation and a pilot accreditation.

But what of the hobbyist and others who use drones for other practical purposes?

If you fly any drone you have a responsibility to the community as you do driving a car or anything else to do so responsibly with the wider public’s interest at heart. You also need to consider what insurance coverage you have in place and will it protect you for an honest mistake or equipment malfunction.

If you see someone not acting responsibly report them immediately and get them banned and their aircraft out of the sky before something serious happens that will not only cause serious injury or loss of life but give rise to a ban or serious restrictions.




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