Amateur Drone Use Under Scrutiny - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Amateur Drone Use Under Scrutiny

Published August 23, 2015

Photos by
Kevin Baird/Creative Commons

Drones are becoming increasingly popular in Iceland, but regulations in the works would limit how and where they are flown.

RÚV reports that at least seven drones were flown over the crowds at yesterday’s Culture Night celebrations, which about 120,000 people attended. Drones in Iceland have also been used recently to take aerial shots of practically everything from protest demonstrations to hay harvests.

As their popularity grows, however, even drone hobbyists have concerns about how and where they are used. Brandur Bjarnason Karlsson, the chairperson of the Icelandic Drone Association (IDA), told reporters that drone use has bordered on irresponsible.

“People [in the the IDA] don’t like seeing drones being flown over so many people,” he said. “There isn’t a lot of experience yet with ensuring the safe use of these devices.”

Currently, there is a draft for regulations on drone use at the Ministry of the Interior. While the draft still has to go through numerous changes before finalisation, Brandur considers it likely that limits set on flying drones over crowds and densely populated areas will stay.

Drones can be easily bought in Iceland, from shops such as the hardware and home appliances store Elko, for anywhere from 5,000 ISK up to 330,000 ISK. Brandur says the purpose of IDA is to increase awareness of drone use safety, precisely because anyone can buy them.

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