How to buy drones

Drones and UAVs are becoming increasingly popular, while also hitting the headlines often for the wrong reasons. Simon Creasey presents the factors companies need to consider when looking to use and procure them

In December last year, the airspace surrounding Gatwick Airport was closed for more than 24 hours after drones were spotted flying over the runway. Hundreds of flights were cancelled and the Christmas plans of tens of thousands of passengers were ruined. Sadly it wasn’t an isolated incident. Barely a week goes by without the media reporting on a near-miss drone incident.

In 2017, the UK Airprox Board, which tracks near misses involving commercial aircraft, recorded 92 near-miss cases involving drones and aircraft – in 2015, just 29 incidents were recorded.

It’s not just hobbyists who are falling foul of the law. Companies and organisations that are increasingly relying on drones fitted with cameras to help them conduct their day-to-day business are also wreaking havoc. Sometimes it’s because they lack appropriate training to fly the drones and/or they are unaware of the regulations. And sometimes they fall foul because they have bought a device that is ill-equipped for how they want to use it.

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