For those of you who are aviation enthusiasts, and certainly if your hobby has been playing with remote control model planes, the new trend for flying Drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) will no doubt be an appealing prospect for you.
A Drone, which can be similar in size and weight to the average large model plane can cost less than £50 ($40) for a beginner to start with.
They can be fitted with a camera to record or photograph otherwise hard to get to places and are the source of much fun for amateur ‘flyers’. Having said that, the Drone industry is still fairly new and as yet a firm set of regulations regarding their use has not yet been established by the British government, although there is now a registration scheme for Drone usage in the US.
A responsible Drone user will obviously avoid areas which are populated and near to airports and low flying aircraft.
At present the Civil Aviation Authority stipulate that a Drone may not weigh above 20 kilos and you may not fly one above 400 feet and further than 500 metres horizontally without their permission. They can prosecute anyone if they are considered to be flying a Drone irresponsibly such as close to aerodromes or military or nuclear facilities.
Drones on a commercial and professional level are proving to be a great time and money saver. Most of the Air Rescue services are now using Drones to locate people trapped on cliff faces which would be hard to scout from a helicopter. Sports stadia can use them to assess and control the crowds. It is now evident that the use of Drones is having a very positive and useful effect in otherwise difficult and dangerous areas to police, but for the people who want to own a Drone for personal recreation, yes, go ahead and get out there and enjoy flying your Drone, but please, be very mindful of the guidelines presently laid down for its uses and be responsible enough to ensure that you are not encroaching on someone else’s privacy or scaring any wildlife that might be in the area.