A few years ago, my editor’s letter was about the danger of drones and the importance of regulations. Many colleagues and friends from the ICT industry and government didn’t like what I had to say, and thought I was opposed to the fast deployment of technology.
Right now, I’m writing this letter as I watch the news that Gatwick Airport is closed, the second largest airport in UK; over 800 flights have been cancelled this holiday season. It’s catastrophic! And it’s because sophisticated drones are flying near the airport and putting civil aviation at risk.
So yes, drones can be used for bad purposes, including the disruption of civil aviation which puts many people at risk and has a huge negative impact on the economy. And don’t forget drones can be used for spying and for terrorist attacks.
And yes, regulations for drones all over the world should start now. Further delays will cause economic losses, disruption and damage at a time when “being sorry” will not help at all. Drones for good are only good in a regulated environment – a tough one – with limited flying zones.
This is a call to all governments to act ASAP before the worst happens!