Rise of the Drones: Liability for Government and Businesses

Wednesday June 21, 2017

Brad Mason, Secretary,Australian Certified UAV Operators Inc. (ACUO) is a Chief Remote Pilot with hundreds of hours’ flight time on predominantly rotary UAVs, and a Chief UAV Maintenance Controller with thousands of hours’ experience in building & testing UA systems and associated equipment.
Brad Mason
He joined Jane Wily of Legalwise Seminars to discuss the future of the drones industry and the issues that arise with it.

You can find the full Q&A below.

How big is the Drone industry now? Where do you envisage its future? How are they currently being embraced by businesses and government at the moment?

In 2012 there were around a dozen certified UAV Operators in Australia. Today there are nearly 1000 certified UAV Operators, and probably just as many who are uncertified.

The future of the drone industry is very strong, but predicated on several aspects coming together without major accident. Regulations, Training Standards, a UTM System, Public Confidence, and Technological developments, are just the main issues we are currently dealing with. Drones are being used at all levels of Govt & business, and across just about all industry sectors.

Where do you see are some of the main areas of exposure for Drone Operators?

  • Public Liability [with accidents & incidents from untrained &/or incompetent operators/pilots]
  • Professional Indemnity [with inaccurate and unverified data sets, from a lack of basic training &/or an over-reliance on automated systems]

What particular issues have your seen arising for government and businesses in their use of drones? 

Poor understanding of Regulatory, Operational & Technical limitations [of drones generally]

Ad-hoc training standards

What are some common misconceptions or mistakes around the use of Drones held by their operators? 

“Drones are simple to operate”  “I don’t need any training”

Operational & Technological Complacency, and misplaced trust in a drone to compensate for deficiencies in operator/pilot competency.


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