Drones are undoubtedly popular amongst consumers and industry alike. But would you be surprised to see one zooming around a disaster site and helping to rescue people?
Such unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have already proven their worth in times of crisis. They are equipped with heat-detecting cameras and other sensors to help rescuers find people stuck in burning buildings, under the rubble of a collapsed building, or stranded at sea.
To do that reliably and at scale, rules need to be put in place to ensure that these UAS are reliable and safe to operate. Overlooking the importance of a proper legislative basis to regulate this potential use of drones poses a great risk to the safety of people on the ground and in the air.
This topic was recently covered at the Drones and Public Safety Summit, organised by the European Emergency Number Association organised in Brussel. As part of the event panel, EUROCONTROL’s ATM strategist, Munish Khurana, presenting EUROCONTROL’s activity in the UAS and U-space fields, as well as our part in the European Network of U-space Demonstrators. He pointed out how this can be of help to resolve emergency situations and the possible synergies with an urban air mobility initiative, in which EUROCONTROL is taking part.