Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Questions (621)

Robert Dowds


621. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the law on the use of drones by private citizens. [44085/15]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Irish Aviation Authority has statutory responsibility, under the Irish Aviation Authority Act 1993, for the regulation of aviation safety standards for civil aviation in Ireland.  This includes remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), or as they are more commonly known, Drones. The IAA published its policy and national legislation on the use of RPAS in October 2012. An update in the form of an Aeronautical Notice was published in April 2014.  Details of this are available on the IAA's website at www.iaa.ie.

  The European Commission has recently indicated that a suite of European regulations governing the use of drones is being fast-tracked and is expected to be in force by end of 2016.  My Department is committed under the National Aviation Policy 2015 to continue to contribute to the EU rule making and regulatory process concerning RPAS.

In the meantime, the current safety regulation of drones in Ireland is detailed under powers in the Rockets and Small Aircraft Order of 2000 and associated guidance material.  This Order is currently being updated to include new technology aircraft, including small unmanned aircraft, i.e. drones, and is expected by year-end 2015.  The new regulations will take account of the likely provisions in next year's expected EU legislation.