Regulations concerning drone use will continue to be developed and enforced as drones become more popular. Databases are already being used to store pilot and drone information, and more countries are going to implement these to encourage safety and to be able to hold pilots accountable if they break rules.
Canada already has rules regarding piloting drones near airports: drones are not allowed to be flown higher than 300 ft, and they cannot be flown within 3.5 miles of an airport. These rules are to protect against drones crashing into aircraft by preventing drones from entering flight paths at all.
Recently, a drone crashed into an airplane in Canada, the first documented crash of this kind. There are hundreds of drone crashes every year, but this is the first case of a drone hitting an airplane in the country. While the drone was flying further than 3.5 miles of an airport, it was flying at an altitude of 1500 ft. The drone was in the flight path of a plane and hit its wing, causing slight damage, but the plane was able to land safely at the Jean Lesage International airport without incident.
Drone companies are developing technology to help ensure that pilots follow laws and regulations, so that civilians are kept safe and that drones don’t enter flight paths or restricted areas. A tracking system has already been developed to detect drones traveling in certain areas, using their registration information to report any illicit activity to the appropriate people. Some countries have even gone as far as training bald eagles to find and capture flying unmanned vehicles that travel in restricted areas! Other countries are looking into developing drones that shoot other drones from the sky if they’re in restricted air space. While these solutions may seem extreme, it is important to remember that airports loses millions of dollars a minute if an airport is shut down—Dubai’s international airport has had to close three times for at least half an hour at a time because of issues with drones entering the airspace, and that loss is tremendous.