Edition 1476
26 May 2018
Edition: 1476

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Drone law in final stage of preparation

by TPN/Lusa, in News · 18-01-2018 13:57:00 · 0 Comments

The Portuguese government said it is in the “final stage of preparation” of the law that requires drones to be registered, makes civil liability insurance mandatory and outlines fines for people who use drones outside the law.

Drone law in final stage of preparation

“The law is in the final stage of preparation, after the period of public consultation, in which many relevant contributions were received,” the Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure said in a response sent to Lusa News Agency.
The draft law to establish registration and compulsory civil liability insurance applicable to drones (unmanned aircraft) was in public consultation between August and October, and received 70 comments, mainly from individuals, according to Portugal’s National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC).
In October, the civil aviation regulator said that after analysing the contributions received, it would send a report to the Government with the result of the public consultation and the conclusions and potential amendments to the draft bill.
The law will make it compulsory to register drones and take on civil liability insurance for unmanned aircraft weighing 250 grams or more.
“The text of the law is based on the proposals for European regulations recently put forward by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and already reflects the contributions made by [airport manager] ANA in the consultation with the aeronautical community, security forces, and drone operator associations, among others,” the Ministry said in August.
The bill also outlines that minors under 16 years of age “cannot operate” drones weighing 900 grams or more “unless accompanied and supervised by an adult,” along with compulsory registration and civil liability insurance.
On 13 January last year, ANAC regulations banned the flight of these aircraft at heights of over 120 metres and in airports’ approach and take-off areas, but the successive incidents with drones in the vicinity of Portuguese airports led the regulator and the Government to move ahead with specific legislation.
Despite this, the Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure makes a “positive assessment” of the ANAC regulation.
“It was a first step towards the regularisation of this activity in Portugal. The balance is positive, as it allowed a first approach to a census and registration of this activity, and actions to raise awareness were also put in place on the various aspects of the use of these devices,” said the ministry in its written response to Lusa.
A project to install sytems to detect and/or block drones at airports is also underway, and these systems were first demonstrated on 23 October.
The impact between aircraft and drones could cause more damage than bird collisions, according to a recent British study.
The study by the UK-based QuinetiQ firm concluded that drones “can cause significantly more damage than a bird of equivalent mass [or weight] at the same speed.”
In related news, it has emerged that the number of incidents involving aircraft and drones doubled last year, in comparison to the year before.
During 2017, 37 incidents involving close calls between planes and drones were logged, many in the vicinity of airports, which is more than double the number of incidents reported in 2016.

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Edition 1476
26 May 2018
Edition: 1476

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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