Swedish court banning camera drones threatens innovation and thousands of jobs

The Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden ruled last week (Friday, October 21st) that drone with cameras qualify as surveillance cameras, and therefore require a specific license to be used. The Drones Manufacturers Alliance in Europe (DMAE) is concerned that such a decision threatens the development of a highly innovative industry and could also have a severe impact on jobs in Sweden.

According to the Court ruling, leisure and professionals drone operators alike wanting to fly a camera drone will be required to go through a lengthy and expensive bureaucratic process to request the necessary “surveillance permit” cialis eu. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether their benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Members of the Drone Manufacturers Alliance Europe (DJI, GoPro, and Parrot) are the world leaders in small civilian drones production, and demonstrate the safety and benefits of this developing economic sector. Camera-equipped drones are not only used by thousands of hobby photographers in Sweden. Drone services are developing, amounting to around 3,000 jobs in the country. Drones can help save lives in search & rescue missions, protect the environment in precision farming, teach youth about engineering, robotics and aviation, and help avoid accidents by increasing safety in dangerous professions or inspecting our infrastructures.

In addition, the camera installed on a drone can be an important safety feature, allowing stabilizing the UAS during its flight. First-person-view technology, which allows the remote pilot to control her drone through the live streaming of its camera equipment and visual sensors, permit an efficient decision-making, avoiding obstacle and sensibly shortening the reaction time.

Whereas Sweden is usually considered as an innovation frontrunner, and as European countries are quickly catching up on drone technology, it is disappointing to see that Sweden is endangering this promising sector. DMAE firmly believes that a clear and harmonised European regulation will help achieving safety and accountability. The Swedish blanket-ban also threatens the establishment of a single market for drone services in Europe.

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