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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
November 22, 2018

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ISO publishes new drone standards

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has published the first ever worldwide drone standards.


The ISO Draft International Standards for Drone Operations have been formally released for public consultation, with professionals, academics and businesses also invited to submit comments by 21 January 2019.

According to ISO, the new standards will act as a new ‘etiquette’ for drone users which promote and reinforce compliance regarding no-fly zones, local regulation, flight log protocols, maintenance, training and flight planning documentation.

Social responsibility will also be at the heart of the standards, strengthening the responsible use of a technology that aims to improve and not obstruct everyday life.

The new standards will also address public concerns surrounding privacy and data protection by demanding that operators must have appropriate systems to handle data alongside communications and control planning when flying.

In addition, the hardware and software of all related operating equipment must also be kept up to date.

Significantly, human intervention will also required for all drone flights, including autonomous operations, ensuring that drone operators are accountable.

New exciting applications for drones are being developed daily. In particular revolutionary approaches are emerging for freight and passenger transportation, with drones providing a cost-effective and environmentally responsible alternative to traditional methods, relieving the burden on our already stretched road traffic system.

Further applications in the agricultural, maritime, construction and energy sectors, among others, are already transforming businesses, with all industries and business sectors set to benefit from the standards-led adoption of drone technology.

The new standards will be the first in a four-part series for aerial drones, with the next three addressing general specifications, manufacturing quality and unmanned traffic management (UTM).

“These standards will undoubtedly lead to a new confidence in safety, security and compliance within this dynamic industry, resulting in a massive expansion in the availability and use of drone technology in the years to come,” said Convenor of the ISO Working Group responsible for global drone operational standards, Robert Garbett.

“Drones represent a global phenomenon and an unprecedented economic opportunity for any country which embraces the technology.

It’s very encouraging that the UK Government is a world leader in recognising the importance of this vital business sector,” added Mr Garbett.

“Informed by the first drone standards, it is expected that the forthcoming UK Drone Bill, due in early 2019 will create a regulatory framework that allows the industry to flourish in an environment that is both safe and responsible.

“My conversations with drone buyers, manufacturers, users and the wider public indicate that these standards are warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by all. I would encourage all those with an interest in drones to engage with the consultation process so that no stone has been left unturned in our quest for the creation and adoption of best-practice drone standards.”

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civil engineer
civil engineer
5 years ago

A drone, in technological terms, is an unmanned aircraft. Drones are more formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASes). Essentially, a drone is a flying robot that can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS.

5 years ago

such a nice post, very informational… got the answer i was looking for