The Eagle Has Landed
Much has been made of late regarding how to control 'rogue' UAV operators. Multiple reports of near misses, injuries to bystanders and complaints about aerial snooping have abounded in the last few months.
From shotguns to Eagles, everybody seems to have had their say on how best to eliminate the very real threat of those UAV users that flout the law. As is often the case, it is the 'hard kill' approaches that are grabbing the headlines.
This all seems a bit OTT to us. That said, we in the UK have often adopted a draconian aproach early on in a particular technology's life cycle. From red flag bearers in front of motor cars to the "it's a road vehicle, son. where's your tax disc?" approach to segways and hoverboards.
I wouldn't want this to sound like a criticism. Often the heavy approach has been the right one or has led to pragmatic or even world class legislation later on. For evidence of this, look no further than our enviable (and continuously improving) record on road safety.
However, where UAVs are concerned, there are a number of tried and tested approaches that don't involve the dramatic (eagles) or the brain dead (shotguns). Any recent purchaser of a small UAV will likely as not have purchased a model from the Chinese manufacturer DJI.
DJI continuously update their UAV firmware with the known locations of restricted areas around the world. Unfortunately, they use a blanket ban methodology on restricted areas. The phrase 'restricted area' is a moot point. Some areas are only restricted on certain days of the week. Your best bet is to use applications such as skydemon to plan your flights, whilst also making sure that you're fully aware of the various laws affecting your part of the world.
It isn't rocket science to make yourself aware of the law. It isn't rocket science to make sure you're not flying in a restricted area. And finally, it isn't rocket science that you're likely to be facing a fine, confiscation of your equipment and even a possible prison sentence if it all goes horribly wrong.