Kieran Foley reports
UNMANNED drones are causing concern across County Waterford. The controversial issue was raised at last week’s meeting of the Waterford City & County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) which was held in Dungarvan.
Michael J Walsh (Public Participation Network) sought information on the Council’s policy in relation to the use of unmanned drones, particularly in rural areas which appears to have become problematic.
In response, Senior Executive Officer with Waterford City & County Council Don Tuohy said that the issue was a matter for the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
He explained that the IAA features a comprehensive Q&A section on their website in relation to drones.
The Small Unmanned Aircraft and Rockets Order applies to the majority of model aircraft/drones used in Ireland.
Mr Tuohy said that the “misuse” of drones can result in prosecutions.
He said that the issue could be brought up at national level if the JPC felt strongly about it.
Concerns over drones have grown significantly in recent times.
In December, the IAA introduced regulations aimed at reducing the safety risks associated with drones, which include a mandatory registration system for drones.
Meanwhile, an investigation is underway in the UK after a British Airways plane was hit by what is believed to have been a drone as it prepared to land at Heathrow Airport on Sunday last.
The flight, which was travelling from Geneva, had 132 passengers and five crew members on board.
The UK Air Proximity Board – which investigates near-miss incidents in UK airspace – said there had been a number of serious near-misses at UK airports involving drones.