Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (355)

Joe Carey


355. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that there is sufficient legislation to deal with the use of drones to observe properties for the purposes of carrying out criminal activities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45143/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, officials in my Department are currently working on the Garda Síochána (Recording of Images) Bill. However I would point out that this will relate to recording of images by An Garda Síochána and does not relate to the use of drones or other devices by members of the public.

Rather, the regulation of drones is under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D.

In that regard, I understand that the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is the competent Authority for aviation safety regulation in Ireland, including drones. The safe operation of drones in Ireland is currently regulated by the Irish Aviation Authority (Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets) Order, 2015 (S.I. No. 563 of 2015). I understand that since the introduction of the order in December 2015, the IAA has registered over 12,500 drones and model aircraft. Guidance concerning the current regulatory framework by the IAA is provided on the IAA website.

The Deputy may also wish to note that EU Aviation Safety Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 sets out common rules for the regulation of drones and drone operators, including licensing and registration. This Regulation lays down detailed standards for all aspects of the design and operation of drones. Earlier this year, Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 and the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 in relation to drones, were also published.