Editorials 1.3.2018 06:50 am

We need to rein in drone operators

Drones are not allowed in KNP or other parks. Image: Lowvelder

Drones are not allowed in KNP or other parks. Image: Lowvelder

The reality is that most of these potentially dangerous flying objects are not licensed and nor are their operators.

We welcome the news that a man has been given a lifetime ban from the Kruger National Park for illegally flying a drone there.

The use of a camera-carrying drone – to get those “wow” aerial photographs – could be distressing to animals and to park visitors, who would not want their bush experience interrupted by the buzzing of a drone.

But the broader issue to be considered is the control over drones in general.

These mini helicopters have proliferated in recent years and are being used in everything from sport to engineering and law enforcement.

But the reality is that most of these potentially dangerous flying objects are not licensed, nor are their operators. Many of them are powerful enough to stray into commercial airspace and can disappear out of line of sight control by their operators becoming, effectively, flying booby traps for bigger aircraft.

In addition, there is the question of privacy: drones can go peeping where human eyes can’t.

It is true that there are rules and regulations governing the use of drones, but most of these are ignored.

So, it is up to the rest of us to report the illegal drones and bring them back to earth, as happened in Kruger.

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