Illegal Drone Use Monitored on Social Media
People flying drones illegally may be caught via social media.
As the number of drones registered in Ireland is set to pass more than 10,000 next year, the public is reporting illegally-captured photos and videos posted on social media to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
There are strict rules governing drone use under the Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order, which came into force at the end of 2015.
The order requires all drones that weigh over 1kg to be registered with the IAA. Drones that weigh less than 1kg are limited to operating at a height of 50 feet unless registered.
While more than 8,000 drones have been registered with the IAA, many people have not done so and often post illegally shot footage to social media to show friends.
“People who drone do put stuff on social media and this has been reported to us.
“In our response to that, if it is brought to our attention and there is evidence that it is illegally-captured footage, it usually gets taken down,” said Ralph James, the IAA’s director of safety regulation.
The current legislation carries many rules for hobbyists. For example, it is illegal to fly drones near airports, within restricted areas around airfields and aerodromes, or near military-controlled airspace.
They cannot be flown more than 120 metres above ground level; drones can also not be flown farther than 300 metres from the controller, or outside of the user’s line of sight.
Drones cannot be flown over an assembly of more than 12 people, at events such as concerts, parades, and sporting activities.