Drones can be fun. We race them, we deliver books and pizzas with them, we use them for monitoring wildlife and crops, for border control, for advertising, and for media reporting1,2. It seems the sky’s the limit for the market potential for the use of drone technology. It is estimated that total spending on small unmanned aircraft systems will reach $89.1bn over the next 10 years and that by 2020, 30,000 small unmanned aircraft will be in use for commercial or research purposes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) in the US has reportedly allocated $63.4bn for the modernization of the USA’s air traffic control system to accommodate the use of this unmanned aircraft systems3.
The safe control of air traffic is clearly one of the potential risks associated with the projected increase in the use of unmanned aircraft, however, there are a host of risks related to this burgeoning market. Mostly, these risks are being addressed by the insurance industry. In the UK, for example, drone insurance is being marketed to the public and businesses as a specific insurance product
Your assignment is to investigate the risks associated with using drones in commercial and personal environments (i.e. non-military uses). Specifically, you should:
Discuss the key risks to the public and public authorities of the increasing use of drones for recreational and business purposes;
Discuss the key risks to users (personal and commercial) of drones;
Discuss what actions could be implemented by authorities to mitigate risk exposures caused by the use of drones.