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IATA says drone risks require more regulation

Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Tony Tyler has called for more regulations on the drone technology stating that it is being used in airspaces that already have regulation making its risks greater.
According to him, the popularity of inexpensive radio-controlled planes and helicopters raises risks that require a firm response from regulators to ensure safety.
“I’m not one who often calls for regulation, but this is a new industry and it will have to share airspace with an existing established industry. With safety issues that it raises, there is a need for regulators to grasp this one and run with it,” he said.
Tyler’s concern comes amid growing reports of dangerous drone flights at airports, stadiums and military bases in the United States and elsewhere. The US FAA recently documented more than 190 close calls in 2014, including instances of drones flying within 50 feet of airliners landing in New York and other cities.
The FAA is due to publish draft regulations on drones later this month, and experts said they predict the rules will put restrictions on risky recreational fliers. The rules are part of the FAA’s effort to integrate unmanned aircraft into US airspace by September 2015.
Tyler said the new rules cannot come too soon.
Drone regulations currently vary widely in different countries, with an effective ban on commercial uses in the United States in all but a few cases. But the unmanned aircraft industry is expected to generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity, as companies use them for everything from inspecting power lines and crops to delivering packages.
“Drones are an emerging issue,” Tyler said. “As they grow in number and sophistication, they need to be integrated properly in the airspace. Regulators have to get involved here.”

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