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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 20 January, 2020
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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? (No, it's probably a drone)

New guidelines have been issued on using the remotely controlled aircraft.

Image: jacinta lluch valero/Flickr

IT SEEMS LIKE it was only a scant few years ago that drones were strictly confined to foreign military endeavors.

Now, with their coming down in price, the devices are becoming more commonplace – and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is expecting a surge in their presence over the Christmas period.

The body has issued a statement that drones, which are also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), are subject to the ‘Rules of the Air’ – in much the same way cars are subject to rules of road.

For the crafts to be operated safely, they are required to abide by the following:

  • They may only be used over unpopulated areas up to 400 ft above the ground
  • The crafts are not to be flown at night
  • Users should not fly them through cloud or fog
  • Those flying the drones should be able to see them at all times – and not just through the use of a point-of-view camera

Rules outlined by the IAA are also very clear that drones should not be operated over built up urban areas, or anywhere where they could potentially cause harm to individuals or vehicles.

It is also warned that they should not be used within 2 km of an aircraft in flight.

Speaking about the RPASs, Donal Handley, IAA Head of Corporate Affairs, said, “safety is our number one priority and we want to highlight that there are rules in place to help ensure the safe operation of this evolving aviation technology.”

Some people may be lucky enough to receive a RPAS as a gift over Christmas and they need to be aware that they must operate their RPAS in a safe and responsible manner, and in full compliance with the regulations’.

Read: Review: Is the Parrot Rolling Spider the affordable drone you’ve been waiting for?

Also: VIDEO: Drone captures haunting footage of Chernobyl ghost town

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