Speaking after the RTÉ show 10 Things to Know About which aired last night documenting the use of Drones, Fianna Fáil Science and Technology spokesperson James Lawless TD, said the need for his legislation to regulate the usage of these devices must progress through the Dáil and Seanad with urgency.
Deputy Lawless said, “I introduced my Bill to regulate the usage of drones two years ago. Since then we have seen drones aiding rescue workers in saving lives during search and rescue operations and giving a wider view of gorse fires as fire-fighters tackle recent blazes in the Wicklow and Dublin mountains.
“Last week An Post made its first delivery via a drone. This was something I pitched to the then incoming An Post Chairman Dermot Divilly at a Communications Committee hearing. Almost two years to the day of that hearing drone deliveries in Ireland are a reality.
“Drones present many interesting opportunities for both personal and commercial use. For example, they can be a useful aid for farmers who are looking to monitor crop growth and check for the presence of pests. They can also be used for recreational purposes, such as taking aerial photographs of scenic areas or hobby flying.
“At the same time, drones can present certain difficulties, and we are hearing an increased number of reports of drones causing problems for manned aircraft or infringing on people’s privacy. Some people have noticed drones seemingly surveying their farms and equipment. Given the prevalence of burglary in rural areas, it’s easy to see why this is threatening.
“It is clear drones can be of immense benefit. They have showcased this benefit in recent weeks but legislation and a framework on their use is required. I am calling on the Government to work with the Bill to see it through the legislative process,” concluded Lawless.