So how do we do this?

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone and also referred to as an unpiloted aerial vehicle and a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard.

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Shepherd
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So how do we do this?

Unread post by Shepherd » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:06 pm

There are some industries that are really feeling the effects of not being able to operate without essentially being a full time commercial pilot and having a commercial aviation business running at a steep running costs and huge specialised skills investments.

So what I am asking from the community is ideas and discussions.

How do we start tackling illegal operators so that legit companies who would rather not operate illegally do not close down for not offering drone options which are actually only 2-5% of the requirements for delivering a finished product to their client. The client always push and has it in their mind they must have drone, no options.

For example a real estate videos, wedding filmmakers or small video/photo production companies making social media content. If they use legal operators the budget it blow, and the end user does not care for the rules and regulations (even if they should be). These companies have their own expensive equipment to pay for, skills investment and experience to take care of and for them to bridge into becoming an aviation company does not make scenes.

Those clients are able to find dozens of other service providers that happily show up and do the job at no extra cost or complications, because they have a drone and are more than willing to use it irrespective of the laws.
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I'll start....

I dont think they should stop selling drones or be limited to only selling them at specialised aviation companies.

I think they should go back to the old days of drones whereby all drones should be bought in a Kit form which is then build it up, program / intensively setup the electronic components to integrate into a fully working craft / drone / whatever it should be called.

This will needle out the everyday-Joe-Soap and only appeal to people that are going to take the time and effort to get it right and maintain it. Heck even add in a couple of complex steps that need special tools or cables plus the experience and effort to get it right.

Its simply packed and offered way to easily which is why it appeals to everyone and their 5 year old.

What are your thoughts and suggesting on this problem threatening these companies as well as aviation safety...?!?
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Re: So how do we do this?

Unread post by nicofly » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:54 am

Ahhhh..... the ever so bold "we have the money, and we have the monopoly" presents itself again.

I fully relate to your frustrations though the drone part is definitely not 2-5% of the deal.

It's 50% part of it if you plan to do editing afterwards and if the client wants it edited.

And it is many a times when i was conducting work in the past 100% of the work as many people do not want editing only the raw product.

So to answer the question, the monopolistic, selfish and greedy regulations serving the "holy few"
will never budge, the "feeble" small time operator might try to poke and bend the "o so mighty great lords" of monopoly regulation, but they are unkowingly only running inside a hamster wheel constructed for them long before they even knew where to start.

As for the newcomers, they Especially enjoy the new greenhorns they put through certification.(which is a favorite umongst them as the newly babtised green horn innocently blinded by the ways of the iron fist show such enthusiasm, they are being sucked in like cigarettes and hanged out like whiskey breath to dry) or being fed like pudding. depending on how you want to look at it.

And we often hear of a "revolution" that will change things and take place soon which never does.
It's only click bait for the small time operator to chew on (more hamster wheel time) giving them false hope while the "mighty monopolistic lords"
do business as usual, making humor of the the small time operator behind closed doors on the side.

All that while the poor new operator pays a steep price for certification and jumps an squeals through their never ending purposely built game of cat and mouse.

So there you have it, things are the same, and things will stay the same.

So because of this selfish and conscienceless stance they enforce, the illegal small time operator business will grow and continue to boon.
Until they either feel it necessary to change the regulations or going through the almost impossible situation of cracking down on all the illegal activity because of their beyond incompetent regulations.

I for one know which path they will follow... ;)

Though your noble gesture to change drones to kit form is good hearted and i really like the idea, it's just another joke for the higher up to make small talk about while raking in their piece of the monopoly pie.
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Re: So how do we do this?

Unread post by WarrenGardiner » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:38 am

I think the days of making a customised set of regulations for anything these days are gone. All we really have for now is international standards to go by, and so far the leading international standard is to implement a mini licensing scheme, like in the USA, UK and now Australia, among others. Commercial drone pilots are not going to like this, because it will ligitmise the work done by these at present "illegal operators". This mini-RPL type licence generally allows a pilot to register himself and his drone, complete a knowledge exam, and then may be allowed to do small-scale low-risk commercial work, the part 101 guys will have to get used to doing the large-scale high-risk jobs because they will have a lot of competition for the small jobs like weddings and real estate.

You have to remember that the regulations are not there to regulate the money, the regulations are there to regulate safety. A fully assembled tried and tested drone is a much safer alternative to a self assembled kit and since the government has a 4th industrial revolution mandate, a job creation mandate, along with a distrust of monopolies, its not difficult to see the way forward.

On the up-side, a mini-RPL will help desensitise and destigmatise the drone industry as we know it in South Africa. At present there is a lot of negative publicity regarding drones, mostly due to licensing issues and illegal commercial operators. Potential customers pick up on this through online research and especially social media and it affects the market negatively. Also, a mini-RPL will grow the market for drone solutions through healthy competition and much more exposure.
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Re: So how do we do this?

Unread post by WarrenGardiner » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:53 am

Another, much simpler option could be to make it compulsory for all drone footage and photography to contain an official disclaimer, much like you see on tobacco and alcohol products and in some action sports like wrestling etc. Include in this a compulsory reference number that identifies the flight/pilot/ROC and you have part of a solution. This way you have some form of accountability and a definite warning lable.

And since it is not illegal to publish recreational drone footage, the same should count. A disclaimer that says the footage was shot under private operations flight conditions along with a similar reference, maybe pilots name and surname /ID.

I find it pretty much impossible to tell whether footage I see was a legal flight or not...
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Re: So how do we do this?

Unread post by nicofly » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:43 pm

WarrenGardiner wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:38 am
I think the days of making a customised set of regulations for anything these days are gone. All we really have for now is international standards to go by, and so far the leading international standard is to implement a mini licensing scheme, like in the USA, UK and now Australia, among others. Commercial drone pilots are not going to like this, because it will ligitmise the work done by these at present "illegal operators". This mini-RPL type licence generally allows a pilot to register himself and his drone, complete a knowledge exam, and then may be allowed to do small-scale low-risk commercial work, the part 101 guys will have to get used to doing the large-scale high-risk jobs because they will have a lot of competition for the small jobs like weddings and real estate.

You have to remember that the regulations are not there to regulate the money, the regulations are there to regulate safety. A fully assembled tried and tested drone is a much safer alternative to a self assembled kit and since the government has a 4th industrial revolution mandate, a job creation mandate, along with a distrust of monopolies, its not difficult to see the way forward.

On the up-side, a mini-RPL will help desensitise and destigmatise the drone industry as we know it in South Africa. At present there is a lot of negative publicity regarding drones, mostly due to licensing issues and illegal commercial operators. Potential customers pick up on this through online research and especially social media and it affects the market negatively. Also, a mini-RPL will grow the market for drone solutions through healthy competition and much more exposure.
I like your enthusiasm, but indeed i doubt those who is making the decisions do, same regime same rules different day, so hence we'll be stuck with the scenario in post nr 2 as always... In the end they are shooting themselves in the foot anyway (But that is basically what you also mentioned anyway.) with bad publicity, but do they care... ;)

Only if put into place someone with a true passion for the industry to grow will change happen, and what are chances of that ever happening #-o
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Re: So how do we do this?

Unread post by _juju_ » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:27 pm

Much of what is in place today should be fine, but much needs to change for the better as well. The ROC requirement should fall away (in its current configuration in any event) and the RPL course be made a lot more accessible i.e. priced a lot more reasonably / competitively; licencing in the USA (which arguably has a lot more air traffic than we do) is a couple of hundred dollars if you do formal training and a self learning option is available with a formal test with registration of yourself and the equipment.

I'm in the construction industry, a trained professional with proper professional indemnity insurances in place, I want to use a drone for inspections etc. and add the additional tools/services to my arsenal. As it stands now I can't, unless I shell out a lot of dosh for the a couple of days of RPL training and then a whole lot more dosh for an ROC (how many other countries have this mechanism in place?) for which I then have to register a company (with all the legalities and auditing that requires) and I need to involve at least another two persons in (who'll expect some form of remuneration for the value they add and risk they take) and of course then there is the ROC application processing time - where does this stand as of late, is processing still measured in years or is it days or weeks (not months) now? The aviation industry shouldn't see themselves as somehow insulated from the technological revolution a.k.a. 4IR (4th Industrial Revolution).

I understand that there are risks involved in aviation and lives could be at risk, but embracing people and making training more accessible will probably be more effective than the exclusionary measures currently in place as it is only (as evidenced by the high number of illegal operators) fueling the problem rather than addressing it in a sensible manner.

Regulation through education, provide opportunities, allow everyone a spot of sunshine...
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Re: So how do we do this?

Unread post by Shepherd » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:08 am

_juju_ wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:27 pm
Much of what is in place today should be fine, but much needs to change for the better as well. The ROC requirement should fall away (in its current configuration in any event) and the RPL course be made a lot more accessible i.e. priced a lot more reasonably / competitively; licencing in the USA (which arguably has a lot more air traffic than we do) is a couple of hundred dollars if you do formal training and a self learning option is available with a formal test with registration of yourself and the equipment.

I'm in the construction industry, a trained professional with proper professional indemnity insurances in place, I want to use a drone for inspections etc. and add the additional tools/services to my arsenal. As it stands now I can't, unless I shell out a lot of dosh for the a couple of days of RPL training and then a whole lot more dosh for an ROC (how many other countries have this mechanism in place?) for which I then have to register a company (with all the legalities and auditing that requires) and I need to involve at least another two persons in (who'll expect some form of remuneration for the value they add and risk they take) and of course then there is the ROC application processing time - where does this stand as of late, is processing still measured in years or is it days or weeks (not months) now? The aviation industry shouldn't see themselves as somehow insulated from the technological revolution a.k.a. 4IR (4th Industrial Revolution).

I understand that there are risks involved in aviation and lives could be at risk, but embracing people and making training more accessible will probably be more effective than the exclusionary measures currently in place as it is only (as evidenced by the high number of illegal operators) fueling the problem rather than addressing it in a sensible manner.

Regulation through education, provide opportunities, allow everyone a spot of sunshine...
100%

This is one of the biggest driving forces of this whole Drone vs manned aviation regulatory standards.

As you said, as well as many others including myself. Drones often become tools to other areas that are far from aviation and fully capable of being done safely and regulated.

However when you paint every scenario with the manned aviation brush it becomes very hard for drones to be come a viable tool to these new areas. Many of these areas were far out of scope for any kind of feasible, regular or safe aerial services by any manned aviation.

Its I believe a proper catch 22... and I truly see it from both siders of the coin which is why I feel it hard to see a total solution.

But what is in place currently, and this is purely only my opinion, does not work for the largest part of available market for drone services...
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Re: So how do we do this?

Unread post by _juju_ » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:14 pm

An interesting piece over on YouTube. Interview with Sean Reitz - President of CUASSA (Commercial Unmanned Aviation Association of South Africa) about drone flying during the lockdown and look at the future of the drone industry in South Africa.

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