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Controls on drones must be flexible, up to date [Editorial]


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Controls on drones must be flexible, up to date

By The Nation




Thailand now has in place measures to guard against accident and injury, but the technology is improving and spreading fast


Thailand this past autumn introduced measures to control airborne drones, which are increasingly in use for recreational and commercial purposes. But few citizens are as yet aware of the requirements and responsibilities attached to these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). More needs to be done to educate the public and, in the meantime, state agencies will have to be on their toes.


Concerned about the risks posed by drones to individuals on the ground and to aircraft, the government in October unveiled a set of regulations covering their recreational, scientific and commercial use. The machines must now be registered. The rules are welcome, but they must be consistently enforced as well as fluid. With the technology steadily improving, countries far more technologically advanced than Thailand have had to repeatedly update their UAV legislation.


Britain, for example, has just announced measures that include giving the police increased powers to halt and prevent the misuse of drones and imposing tighter controls on ownership. The moves came after London’s Gatwick Airport was shut down for three days over the busy Christmas period as its runways were buzzed  by drones, threatening the safety of aircraft in flight. The United States has federal laws on drone use and many states have imposed additional controls, reflecting the reality that usage varies from place to place.


Canada strictly prohibits drones near airports and at scenes of emergencies and is on the lookout for “drunk droning”. Flying drones while intoxicated is not as yet a major issue anywhere, but only because so few people actually own drones. It’s easy to imagine the problems that could ensue, though, particularly in countries like Thailand where drunk drivers routinely ply the roads.


Thailand now has designated zones where drone flights are allowed and has specified times of day and safe distances from buildings, people and vehicles. They can’t be flown within nine kilometres of an airport, or after dusk. Foreigners wishing to send up a drone must first contact the Civil Aviation Authority and National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission. Anyone using drones for commercial purposes has additional legal steps to manoeuvre.


Thousands of Thais have reportedly already registered drones. That is in fact a relatively low number, which is blamed on the cost of doing so, but the figure will certainly rise, as it has in other nations. Anyone can buy a drone in almost any department store. Several deadlines for registration have come and gone, but controlling drone use will be a never-ending job for legislators and law enforcers. 

More and more travellers are packing UAVs among their luggage. There can be no denying the potential that drones hold for innovators and entrepreneurs. There’s no denying the potential for fun they hold for youngsters and adventurers either. Kids have demonstrated remarkable skill in their use in games and sports, but of course, when children get attached to a machine that could cause accident or injury, that’s when the adults have to do some serious thinking.


Despite the benefits and possibilities, the risks associated with drones are very real, and we’ve only just begun to get familiar with the machines. People are buying them every day without the requisite safety awareness or conscientiousness. Our legislators cannot be lackadaisical about the potential danger. The measures already introduced are sound, but keeping abreast of advances in the technology and changes in use will be essential. Matters could become very complicated very fast. 


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30362182

-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-01-14
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as usual Thai  laws  are  STUPID, first no camera  on drone less than 2kg = no licence..............add  camera  and need  licence..................what makes that  camera Soooooooooooooooooo dangerous as they require insurance, so adding a  camera = licence and insurance.surely a  drone at 2kg with or without  has the same potential for damaging something.

Also its  a 2  part  licence  required, even MORE stupidity i did part  one and couldnt be bothered  with part 2 still have to register  with  police if 250g  or  more  but  no insurance  required................I live in a  remote  spot and just fly  on my land ILLEGALLY many have NO paperwork at  all and s till on sale  in tescos. ferk em

Recent  news  story on tv  showed them waiving the  rules for some competition winner...............once again one rule for some

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56 minutes ago, webfact said:

The measures already introduced are sound

No, no they  bloody well arent. Does  a drone with no camera  not bring down an airliner??

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Drones are a wonderful thing for those who are responsible and aware. Unfortunately, the population of idiots is strong all over the world and they are determined to ruin RC flying for everyone. The sky will be full of people's property in years to come, as ridable drones are being refined.

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Curtailing night flights will make Thailand undesirable for UAV development. 


"Foreigners wishing to send up a drone must first contact the Civil Aviation Authority and National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission."  So if a foreigner just happens to be there, he spoils the fun by adding to the red tape, or are the extra steps negated due to the presence of a Thai?  Mind numbing and xenophobic as usual.  

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