Although stories in the press tend to be negative, for example the Gatwick incident last December, Andy Cooper emphasised the positive uses of drones in areas ranging from emergency services to farming to construction.
Andy demonstrated via a few short videos how easy it is to fly a drone. Once it is in the air, the Drone Code, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, must be followed. This Code instructs the operator to always keep the drone in sight; stay under 400 feet; follow the manufacturer’s instructions; keep at least 50 metres away from people and property; and stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields. It also states that the operator is responsible for what happens during each flight.
Toy drones can be purchased for as little as £20 but commercial drones can cost up to £5,000. The drone used by most commercial operators is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, which has sensors to avoid obstacles, GPS navigation and a return to home function. It can also track people and vehicles and has a feature which prevents take-off near airports, prisons, schools and no-fly zones, such as Sandringham.
A study by Price Waterhouse Cooper predicts that by 2030 there could be 76,000 drones operating in the UK’s skies and 628,000 jobs in the drones economy. The UK’s GDP could be increased by £42 billion! Drones will be used to deliver packages and takeaway food. Legislation is coming that will make registration compulsory.