19 Jan 2022

Council to consider drone warning signage in Limerick

Council to consider drone warning signage in Limerick

Eyes in the sky: drones are causing concern

LIMERICK City and County Council is to consider erecting signage in parks and residential areas warning against the usage of drones.

At the monthly meeting, Independent councillor, Elisa O'Donovan, sought an update on the use of the devices in parks, public play areas and residential areas.

In technological terms, a drone is an unmanned aircraft, essentially a flying robot which can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously.

The advent of this technology has led to complaints, in some quarters, regarding public safety, their encroachment on private property, fears over noise pollution, and nuisance to other users of parks and residents.

In a written response, director of service, Nuala Gallagher, stressed European Union regulations govern the use of drones both in Ireland and across the continent.

"The Irish Aviation Authority also provides guidance for operating and flying drones in order to ensure public safety. The regulation allows registered operators and pilots to fly their drones across the EU. Registration as a drone operator is required if the drone used weighs over 250grammes or if it has a camera or sensor," she wrote.

She added those who stick within the limits do not need the IAA's permission to operate a drone. But those who wish to fly one outside the limits must apply for a specific operating permission.

"The council will consider the risks posed by the use of drones within public parks, public play areas and residential areas in terms of the legislation and the appropriate use of signage to mitigate these risks," she added.

Back in 2017, former councillor and now-retired Detective Garda Sean Lynch warned the increased use of drones in the State could prove a bad thing "if controlled by someone with sinister intention".

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