Happy New Year! Farewell 2019.

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There is a lot of summing up going on, blogs and news outlets and social media posts which is good but as someone who doesn’t plan too much and doesn’t do resolutions and with a tendency for a very positive outlook, I can tend to be tinged with sadness. I don’t want to look back at the last year and last decade too much.

Professionally I should plan and react more.  Hell I haven’t even wrote up about my Australian trip to World of Drones congress. I can only cite lack of time or because I now take timeout to rest, but next year less social media for me – I will still post but limit the mindless scrolling, maybe that will free up some time?   A difficult one as most of my work and network comes from social media.  No more TV box sets I might have only just joined a streaming service but this holiday I have done a lot of binge watching and it’s not good for me. I am happy to be out of the cultural TV loop!  I know TV people who don’t own a TV, I won’t go that far!

At the start of the decade Drones were in their infancy but technology was being developed and has exploded so much that you can get a drone from a high street store in most parts of the world. It is mind blowing that we are now going into the year that sci-fi chose as iconic date.  It looks like we have driverless cars on their way, and we have drone taxi’s and they will become more common.

Where we are at now is that we have pressing issues in the environment, plastic pollution, animals and insects going extinct at an alarming rate, global warming is happening. The world on fire from the Arctic to Australia.

2018 was devastating on my own door steps the moors burnt for weeks. I truly believe that drones will help will be developed to counteract some of the issues we are facing.  The Plastic tide is one such application where drones are assisting and there are a lot more and I plan to cover some of those in blog posts in the New Year. (yeah, I am not setting any goals)   I have seen the future of all the possibilities by some of the industry leaders speaking at the drone events I have been at this year.

What do you think we will see in drone tech in the next decade? What developments? I think automation will become more common place and perhaps drone pilots will not exist at all.  Who knows but I look forward to it unfolding.  Next year we have here in the UK the EASA regulations being adopted it is not going to be the simple process but I am happy to be guided by the CAA and Eliot and Jonathan from Drone training.

In 2019 – I never expected it to unfold as it it did, I have had many opportunities that I feel so lucky to have had. To become a drone training instructor has been just amazing. Thank you to the whole team at Drone Training, especially Eliot and Jonathan for having faith in me. It’s been an amazing learning opportunity joining the team.   Got to fly for some amazing TV productions and companies.  Thank you to Eastwood Media for the opportunity to pilot and camera operate for you.  Thank you to all at World of Drones Congress, especially Dr Catherine Ball.

Thank you to every single reader of this blog, social media interaction, likes of images.  Thank you to all the clients that have booked me for TV camera jobs – working for BBC Breakfast has been a goal achieved and has given me confidence in my ability and will drive to be better.  Film making  and directing work thank you clients excluding social cuts I have made 73 short form films and edited most of them.  All those who attended my creative drone workshops massive thank you.  Thank you. Thank you for the opportunities to appear on panels discussing drones, tech and gender diversity in the industry.  Thank you The Photography Show– glad to be coming back in 2020 . Thank you to the Universities that booked me to do guest lectures and demos.  Thank you to Women Who Dronewho gave me the opportunity to cover at The Commercial UAV show.

To The Female UK Drone collective – we will sort out some meet ups in 2020 I promise.

Make your resolutions and your goals if that is your thing, raise a glass if that is your thing. Drink tea in your PJs or party like a wild thing.  If you feel a bit melancholy don’t, either meet up with some friends or just go to bed and get up tomorrow is just another day with a new numerical value. Then fly a drone with a clear head, walk, run or cycle. Don’t compare yourself to others online it always looks like everyone is having an amazing time.  Some of it looks easy and gifted when actually there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes lots and lots of hours, along with the manatory, blood sweat and tears!

Here is to more tech developments in the next decade, here is to drones saving more lives and helping us with the environmental challenges we face.   Here is to more kindness in the world, and less nastiness on the internet! Here is to working with others that enhance your life and become life long friends you know who you are 😉

Happy New Year

From me

The Drone Lass

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Instagram @the_drone_lass and on twitter 

I am on FB too !

UK Drone Registration – 30th November Deadline.

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Reminder : – You have until midnight tomorrow 30th November to register and there are various scenarios covered by this useful blog post from Elliot Corke from Drone Training

In brief, register as an operator and pay £9 and then do the online test.

If you are already pro with a PFCO you don’t have to do the test but are required to have an exemption certificate from the CAA – which you email them for.

I just did the test and have printed out the certificate and will have a copy of my insurance, a copy of my PFCO and have marked my drones.

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Questions I keep being asked one regularly is I have my drone but don’t intend to fly it now till after Christmas – what do I do?  Well you can register and do the test before you fly if you don’t have time now.  If however you do fly and you are not registered then you are breaking the law and can be fined unto £1000. My recommendation is to do it ASAP, that way you won’t forget.

I have a drone and I only use it abroad / Europe do I need to register? I would check with the country you are planning on flying in, for the laws of where you are allowed to fly as a recreational drone pilot.  Then also what are they are wanting with regards to drone registration. This registration scheme is to align with EASA – European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the rules governing Europe, you should register in your home country but till we are all fully aligned you might need to register in that country as well. Further research is required.  In the future I believe you won’t need to register in each country you fly in. All European countries are to be aligned by July 2020.

You may be traveling to a country where their drone registration has not opened yet.  In which case just follow those drone laws.

How hard is the test? The test although not easy it is set to teach you about the law we currently have for recreational drone flying and also thinking about safety, weather conditions and your drone.

How long does the test take?  
Approx 20 minutes – however I took mine at speed whilst being filmed by ITV News which was a bit stressful, and can report I passed full marks.

What happens if I fail the test?  You can take it as many times as you like and just go back and read the course materials.

What happens next? You get an email to confirm both your operator number/ registration  (£9)  and your pilot registration via the test process (free), put the number on your drone and carry your pilot registration with you – you can show the electronic version to police if you are asked.

Click on this link to go to the CAA website

Please note just because you have registered your drone done the test you are not able to operate commercially, that is for any money. If you are employing a drone pilot you need to check that they have a PFCO and insurance and that is the way you will know you are employing a professional. 

Have a wonderful weekend.  On to December now and the slow down for the end of the year

The Drone Lass

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Australian Drone Laws

Oh my we have landed in Australia! I am sat here drinking berocca (other vitamin drinks are available) as it was in the wonderful welcome pack given to us on landing here for World of Drones Congress.   Something that has been on the horizon for about ten months.  Can’t believe we have finally landed, I am here with Gemma Alcock from Skybound rescuer and we couldn’t be more excited. Both of us are speaking, meeting with people and I am running a creative drone masterclass on Wednesday!

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 I thought I best find out a bit about Australian drone laws, because of course I have brought a drone with me and as I am here a while I will be flying. Also many of you have asked me about laws in other countries and yet I am not here to fly commercially I will want to fly. 

 I have connected with Tom Pils – AKA The Drone Lawyer here is a bit about him.

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Tom Pils- The Drone Lawyer

Tom has been building a practice exclusively in the area of drone law for the past 3 years. He has represented commercial drone operators in Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) investigations, advised on Applications for CASA Flight Authorisations (outside regulation approvals), and worked with insurance brokers on drone specific policies. Tom has a strong interest in drone regulation education. He regularly writes articles on legal aspects concerning drones which he publishes on his website thedronelawyer.com.au. Before focusing on drone law, Tom practised mainly in dispute resolution and litigation, as well as having extensive contract drafting & review experience. Tom’s broad range of experience serves his mission to empower drone operators through education, and to be the trusted advisor in their corner of the sky.

The Drone Lass & The Drone Lawyer: Q&A

Q. I am coming to Australia and want to bring my drone. Can I do this and what do I need to think about?

In general, drones can be brought into and flown in Australia. However, drones are quite heavily regulated and subject to a number of rules which vary depending on whether you intend to fly recreationally or commercially.

You must not operate your drone on a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, another person, or property.

The majority of drones flown in Australia that weigh over 250 grams are subject to standard operating conditions, including:

= not to be flown within 3 nautical miles (approximately 5 kilometres) from a controlled aerodrome (generally defined as where there is an active air control tower). The rules aren’t as strict for uncontrolled aerodromes and generally speaking you can fly within 3 nautical miles of an uncontrolled aerodrome but must avoid approach and departure paths and land immediately if you see a manned aircraft.

= You’re not allowed to fly higher than 400 feet Above Ground Level.

= You need to be able to see your drone at all times when flying. That unfortunately also means you’re generally not allowed to use those awesome First Person View (FPV) immersive goggles.

= You aren’t allowed to fly at night.

= You are not allowed to fly in a ‘populous’ area. If you haven’t come across the word ‘populous’ before, join the club. Populous is of Latin origin meaning ‘people’. So…don’t fly over the people? Well, pretty much. In short, a populous area is an area where there are enough people around where if your drone malfunctions it would pose an unreasonable risk to life, safety or property of someone in the area not connected to your flying. CASA gives some examples of populous areas such as as festivals, sporting ovals, busy beaches, busy roads and footpaths.

= Stay on the lookout for others because you are not to fly within 30 metres of a person not directly associate with your flight.

= If the police or fire brigade are there, you probably shouldn’t be flying over it. This also goes for situations where any “other public safety or emergency operation is being conducted”. One risk is that there may be police or fire fighting helicopters and if you’re getting some sweet shots of the action with your drone, you may be preventing them from resolving the incident. Don’t go from checking the incident to being the incident.

Q. Where can I fly my drone in Australia and how to do work out where I can fly legally?

Ideally, you should check a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which are notifications that alert pilots to any potential safety hazards along a flight route or in a specified location. They can also advise of changes to aeronautical facilities, services or procedures.

However, a less complicated (but also less formal) option is the ‘OpenSky’ app, which is endorsed by CASA. This shows a map of the area in which you want to fly and shows zones where drones cannot fly, can fly under conditions, or whether there are other obstacles.

It’s important to note that even where the app may seem to permit flights, you need to also consider all of the regulations as mentioned above. So, while helpful, the app is not the be all and end all. Also, the app’s terms of use state that you must continue to check official sources for information regarding whether and where you may fly your drone. Even if the app indicates that an area appears available for drone flight or free of restrictions, it does not guarantee, recommend, or endorse the safety or legality of your use of drones in that area. Also, the app states that it is advisory only, and is not to be used for the purpose of air navigation.

Finally, if you want to fly in a National Park, you should first check with the local authorities because sadly, some National Parks have restrictions on drones while others don’t allow drones to be flown at all.

Q. I have drone accreditation from another country. Will this be recognised in Australia?

While you could apply to CASA to have a foreign endorsement or licence recognised, CASA is unlikely to recognise this and to give you the equivalent certification in Australia. This is because the Australian Remote Pilot’s Licence is unique to Australia, its airspace and regulations.

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DJI Mavic Air

Q. Are there any differences depending on whether I want to fly for fun or commercially?

For commercial use, at present in Australia, if your drone has a gross weight less than 2 kg, then you can conduct commercial operations without a licence, however you need to notify CASA before you fly and must also operate within the standard operating conditions mentioned above. If your drone’s gross weight is over 2kg, then you also need to obtain a Remote Pilot Licence and operate under a Remote Pilot Operator’s Certificate.

For recreational use, you are generally allowed to fly a drone up to 25kg without a licence but must still follow the abovementioned conditions.

Q. Is there anything else I need to consider before flying my drone in Australia?

Australia is in the process of introducing mandatory drone registration and pilot accreditation.

All drones operated commercially will need to be registered. This is anticipated to be introduced in Australia before the end of 2019.

Most drones operated recreationally that weigh more than 250 grams will need to be registered. Drones flown recreationally indoors or flown exclusively flown at a CASA-verified model airfields will not need to be registered.

Accreditation will be mandatory which will involve watching an education video and passing an online quiz.

The Drone Lawyer can be contacted via website  and on Twitter @ausdronelawyer

Tom, Thank you so much this is really really helpful and once I am off on my travels around the rest of Australia I can’t wait to fly safely and responsibly and feel this gives me confidence in where I can fly whilst I am here.  

Happy Flying everyone 

The Drone Lass

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Brisbane, World of Drones – Creative Workshop

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I am pleased to announce that I am running my  creative workshop at the World of Drones Congress in Brisbane on the Wednesday 25th of September to book and learn more please visit the The World of Drones congress website

 

Location Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Exhibition Hall 1, Hospitality Suite

Date Wednesday 25 September 2019

Time 9:30am – 4:30pm

Cost $225

Feedback from drone ops I have trained in the UK:-

‘Firstly thank you very much for all your help.  I thoroughly enjoyed the way you delivered the training. I also appreciate your patience and help! ” – Mark Pollard 

“I am raring to get going now, I have a greater understanding of what drone settings are best for video.” Joolze Dymond , Professional sports Photographer.

“Thank you, I enjoyed the workshop very much and now I feel equipped to improve my showreel and video work all-round” Roy Morris, Aerial Aspect

“The Drone Training with Carys was invaluable, I enjoyed it that much that I went on to book a 121 session of training with her as well.  I definitely left the training a lot more confidence”. Vicky Louise. 

I am looking forward to meeting you all, I do hope you can attend

The Drone Lass – AKA Carys

 

 

 

 

The World of Drones Congress

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In just over a month before I head out to the The World of Drones Congress. (WoDC) in Brisbane. I was invited back in December 2018 and got official request to attend in February. It felt like a life time ago but as with all things,  it is now fast coming up on the horizon. I feel very honoured to be invited.

Since  I have known about the WoDC, I have wanted to attend but to be invited as a speaker is really beyond what I could have thought could happen.  For me it looks like the one event that is more about the business opportunities and the sharing of knowledge to springboard your business.   Rather than just about the new tech and not just about networking but also about the real global business opportunities.

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What is The World of Drones Congress and why you should attend?

The World of Drones is a global congress with workshops, presentations and meetings and if you are serious about building business on the global stage then this for you and your business.

There are genuine opportunities to build business in Queensland Australia back in December 2018, I was invited to the  High Commission of Australia in London and listened to all of the trade opportunities that exist in Australia. I think from the UK we may not think about the Australian opportunities open to us and now it is time to think more about a global stage. ( I am not mentioning the B word here on purpose)

Australia has had drone laws for 17 years and has a lot of innovation and investment which was revealed at this presentation in London.  Queensland in particular appears to be like the silicon valley of Australia for drone tech.  Opportunities for entrepreneur visas are available in Australia.  If you have that entrepreneur spirt and that is connected to drones then what are you waiting for? Book a ticket and come and network and see what Queensland and Australia has on offer.

There are people from all over the world attending, Japan, America, China, New Zealand  Europe as well as people from the Australian states and beyond.

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You could also spend some time doing some exploring and tourist activities 

 

What else is on at The World of Drone Congress?

Apart from all the speakers who are experts in scientific research, humanitarian, SAR (Search and rescue), and creative industries.  There are workshops, exhibitors who are exhibiting their tech innovations, an educational workshop for school students and also a health and safety workshop.

I am really looking forward to hearing for experts from around the world on the latest technology the policies, research and applications of drones.  Meeting people from all over the world that are as passionate about drones as myself.

My session is Session 3.2: Business, Movies & Media on Thursday 26 SEP 19 from 1330 to 1500.  I will be talking about the use of drones in visual story telling the UK and techniques all drone ops can use to improve their visual story telling all the lessons I have learnt so far as TV camera operator and TV director,  condensed into this presentation.

Please come and say hello at the end of the session if you are attending.

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The Drone Lass

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Creative Drone Masterclass – August 2019

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I am running a creative drone masterclass next week, I have moved the date to accommodate the candidates and we are really looking forward to getting to grips with what it means to create better drone videos.   Even as a film maker , Producer/ Director and TV camera operator it took me a while to master the drone and make my footage better.  I will be showing the drone ops how produce creative videos that they can use to promote their skills.

There is still time to join £425 per person for 2 days (if booking directly)  – 7th August – 8th of August. If you need to claim the VAT back please book through Eventbrite link, where you will also find out in-depth what the masterclass entails.

I am an experienced trainer and educator and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with drone pilots building their businesses by increasing their skill set.

 

Have a great weekend

The Drone Lass

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UK’s First Women only PFCO course

 

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Teaching a drone workshop in Switzerland at The Evolve Videography retreat

I am pleased to announce that I am joining The Aerial Academy as a flight instructor

I have now been flying drones professionally for over four years. I am a camera operator and shooting producer/director for TV and I have flown drones for major TV companies including the BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and various independent production companies. I have appeared on BBC 5 Live, BBC News channels, Good Morning Britain and in The Guardian as a drone industry spokesperson and expert.  The past 12 months I have become a public speaker and educator.  So now I feel that this is the next move for me and for a while I have tried to find the right NQE to join.

I am very excited about joining The Aerial Academy and for many years have admired the company’s ethics and focus on delivering high-quality drone training, from experienced drone pilots to those starting out in the drone industry. I am looking forward to working alongside owners Jonathan Carter and Elliot Corke and working alongside the other instructors.

Part of the reason for running this course is to share my passion to encourage more women into becoming part of the drone industry.  There is  the potential for a level playing field for women in the drone industry, but also realise that some women may be intimidated being the only woman on a PFCO course – so we are launching a UK first PFCO women-only course. Starting this initiative with a limited one-off course which we expect to be in high demand. We have already have had a number of women book on the course.

It will be held on 13/14th May 2019 in the Manchester/Sheffield area.

Why we’re running a women-only course

Approximate figures suggest that women only make up 3% of the UAV industry – as a company we would love to see that rise and think that this course might be the answer.

For a long time it has been known that women are not joining the ranks of professional drone pilots. Studies are underway to understand why women are not becoming professional pilots, but in the meantime we hope that this course will be received as a positive move by the drone industry.

How to book 

To unlock the booking use the special event code ‘AllFemale’
https://dronetraining.co.uk/book-now

Or call Alexandra on 0161 883 3897

On this course you will get the usual high standard of support from The Aerial Academy with 12 month support and guidance after the course, Ops manual creation and a dedicated pro facebook group.

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“The Future is Female Drone Pilots”  Photo by Joolze Dymond

Looking forward to meeting those of you who are joining me in May

Carys –

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The PFCO course is for anyone who wants to use their drone commercially in the UK to gain insurance and be safe legal.  Please note it is still the law not to fly your drone as additional skills on the side of a paid project.  If you are gaining  financially  for any part of a shoot you must be legal.   See my PFCO Link 

 

 

#WomenWhoPhoto Campaign

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Way back in November 2019 I was approached by The Photography Show after appearing in the Guardian to see if I would be interested in speaking at The Photography Show and The Video Show in Birmingham. Strange how that felt like a lifetime ago and here it is just around the corner. The organisers also asked if I would be a Women Who Photo ambassador.

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The WomenWhoPhoto campaign aims to inspire and celebrate women who use a camera for stills and for video.   There are many more who are speaking over the 4 days and it is not just the ambassadors. There are other women speakers across all the days but some of us have chosen to be featured.

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The gender imbalance in the Photography, Video, Camera operators and of course Drone Pilot’s still exist and if we can highlight this and inspire others to take up the profession or as a hobby this would be amazing.

The BBC Highlighted four of the ambassadors in Women Behind the Lens 

These campaigns are so important to inspire other women to take up photography and film making as a hobby or in a professional capacity to just to become more balanced.

Come along to the panel discussion on

Saturday 16th March 15:00 – 15:45  on the Photo Live stage

Keys to success – Building your profile

We will be discussing how to price your projects, how to build and maintain confidence and how to promote your work.

Have a great weekend

Do say hello if you are attending.

The Drone Lass

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The Photography and Video Show March 2019

Why you should visit The Photography and Video Show this coming weekend. 

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The capacity to meet new people and build your network is unlimited.  I have met lots of people at these events by just chatting so if you are on your own don’t let this hold you back. There are many people are in a similar position. We are British start a conversation in the queue for coffee,  talk about the weather? It is always a great opener.  Ask someone what do they do?  Are they enjoying the show?  What would they recommend you don’t miss?  What was the best thing they have seen. Just general chit chat doesn’t have to be about cameras and film making. I do think we have lost the art of connecting with other humans. That might be the technology that has caused us to do that.  Step out of your comfort zone.  It is important to remember, other photographers, videographers, drone pilots and film makers are not your competition but your colleagues this applies to amateur and pros. If you are not pro this is even better for you, it could open up a whole new career, learn some exciting skills

As pro’s and hobby photographers we spend hours alone behind cameras and laptops. Attending a show like The photography show and UK video show will be good investment of your time.

 Tips for attending the show

  1. Wear really comfortable footwear.
  2. Write a list of the talks and masterclasses you want to see.
  3. write a list of cameras you want to play with and visit the stands.
  4. If looking for new kit find out what price you would pay before you attend. then you can check you are getting the deal that is right for you.
  5. keep an eye on the time so you don’t miss the talks as they are short you don’t want to miss anything.
  6. Don’t forget to eat and drink.   
  7. Carry some snacks.  
  8. Sit down a bit.
  9. Have a systematic approach in walking up and down the exhibitors that way you won’t miss anything.
  10. Get orientated so you know where the stages are in the halls.
  11. Sign up for every competition to win things as you never know someone has to win.
  12. Do a bit of social media but don’t spend all the time on the phone.
  13. No business cards, no problem follow each other on social media twitter and Instagram is good for that.
  14. If you plan to spend money bring your cards, if you don’t want to spend money leave your cards at home!
  15. DOWNLOAD The Photography / video show app – What a time to be alive! 

 

I have just been planning my days at the show aside from being a speaker I am really looking forward to hearing others speaking.

Link to my presentation times

Get your tickets here

See you there

The Drone Lass

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Follow me on social media Insta and Twitter

 

 

 

 

Gatwick Dronegate, my thoughts.

 

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Photo Credit Rob Farmer

It has been nearly two months since I ended up woken by a call from BBC 5Live could I comment on the drones flying at Gatwick? How they have stopped for flights for nearly 10 hours?   I then ended up along with other numerous drone operators and company owners commenting, how they were doing it?  Little did we know on the morning of the 20th that the situation would roll on all day and into the 21st of December.  A big news story indeed 100’s of passengers grounded by a drone just before Christmas.  There was other news that day, for example, £85 million pounds in public health cuts was revealed and not one news outlet mentioned this.

My criticism of all news channels from where ever you are in the world, press, media, TV, Radio, and Online will focus on one big story and then other stories slip out unnoticed, unchallenged.  The need for all humans to have every minute detail is blamed on our consuming news for a 24-hour basis and via social media channels we can know what is going on instantly and this can be beneficial and can be detrimental, as always there are pros and cons of social media.

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Photo Credit  Rob Farmar

On the day of the 20th Decembers briefings, discussions and reportings spoke of witnesses from Airline Pilots, airport ground staff, police and members of the public.  An industrial-sized drone, dark in colour, flying for a long period of time in the rain and windy conditions.   On this basis, the airport was closed.  Personally, I don’t believe a major UK airport would be closed if there was no drone or drones.  Then a spokesperson for Sussex police then miscommunicates that there wasn’t a drone,  then it was suggested that it was in fact, the police drone. An innocent couple was arrested and their details all over the worlds media outlets – then fortunately released.   It was outrageous that some media outlets named the individuals, again a symptom of this excessive need for detail by us all as incidents occur.  BBC then reported that all that was miscommunicated by Sussex police and that indeed there were drones at Gatwick.  

People have hooked on to the fact that there were no drones mentioned and every time I do a retweet or repost anything I am shouted down on social media. Some of which has been quite vile.  I am going with the knowledge that I have. There are many opinions that there were no drones because there are no photos or footage and because of what the spokesperson for Sussex police said. However, I go with what was my initial media briefings when I was appearing on various news outlets across TV and Radio. That there were multiple sightings by pilots and passengers.

If there is a serious crime do I need to see a photo to know it occurred? Say for example to know a murder has taken place, I don’t need to see the evidence.  As humans, we need to stop needing all the fine details of cases and crimes and let those dealing get on with investigating.  We may never know what happened at Gatwick and then the copycat incident at Heathrow on the 8th of January. 

Or just a random flight by someone but you can’t deny that the authorities dealt with that incident quickly flights resumed within 1 hour / 90 minutes.

This then lead to a statement being issued by DJI – saying that in summary that it was all false, probably feeling that their products and reputation was being affected.

I think that actually, DJI does the very best to ensure that their drone tech will not fly anywhere near airports and requested sites.  DJI did have a very fair point that drones at airports have been mistaken and then on the investigation has turned up out to be a balloon, a plastic bag and a bat amongst other things.

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Photo Credit  Rob Farmar

Public perception may be down concerning drones,  an increase in drone legislation is not needed as you will never legislate for criminals and those with malicious intentions for those who have the capability beyond the drones that small commercial drone operators and hobbyists fly. You certainly won’t ever legislate for idiots either.

For I while I was saying that this will damage the UK industry, but now really I think it is mainly public perception which has been being damaged and knee jerk reactions for those in authority.  Those with real business needs are not going to stop using drones.

Coventry council planned to ban drones and announced its proposals in early January 2019,  but thank you to Kerry Blakeman of Drone Heights he put forward an alternative and spoke in positive terms and the ban was overturned including the charge that was proposed for commercial operators.   I think it is very interesting that Coventry council u-turn and positive news story that could have been,  has not been reported widely, but symptomatic on the sensationalisation of drone news stories.

The other impacts were obvious that the economic fallout for Gatwick and the flight operators.  Previously it seems that counter drone technology has not been on the top of the agenda but the threat has been very much in everyone’s minds. Dr. Catherine Ball, World Congress of Drones said in 2015 “anti-drone is the new drone”.  There are a number of companies who have developed counter drone technology and in a future post, I will be looking at what those companies offer.

What we need is for airports to be secured by using anti-drone technology, as commercial operators that will help as everyone can then breath a sigh of relief when there will be fewer air incursions.  Positive news stories on drones maybe then reported more, perhaps I can dream about that.

It doesn’t matter if you think there was a drone at Gatwick or not, the most important thing is that all those that fly drones keep positive and look for positive ways to promote their business, hobby or interest.  This was never about professional drone operators and hobbyists this was something else.  I think a cause of concern that the perpetrators were not located and where does that leave the aviation industry except reeling at not taking this particular threat seriously. It took this shocking long term grounding of planes at the busiest days of the year to start tender processes at the largest airports in the UK.  Once the technology is in place this then we can all breathe a bit easier.

I am personally hoping that we never see days like that again.

The Drone lass

 

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