The Regulation of Drones in Ireland


Author: Pearse Ryan, Tom Browne and Sorcha Ni Loinsigh

While unmanned ariel vehicles or unmanned ariel systems, otherwise known as drones, have existed and been used in various incarnations for quite some time, we have recently seen a significant increase in the commercial and non-commercial use of drones. While use of drones for military and intelligence gathering purposes is well established (and well publicised), drone use has taken off in the toy/hobby market and drones are increasingly seen as having commercial application. Estimates of drone use outside of military use vary, but estimates include a 60% plus increase in drone sales between 2014 to 2016 and approximately 400,000 drones were purchased in the USA over Christmas 2015. The US Federal Aviation Authority has seen over 180,000 drone registrations since December 2015, when registration began. There are currently between 4,000 to 5,000 drones registered in Ireland . These are substantial figures and are fast increasing.

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