Aerial camera drones are non military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that are remotely piloted aircrafts.
Drones technology has been deployed for military purposes ever since time in memory but they are now also being used in civil operations.
Some companies like Amazon are testing the technology to deliver packages.
Uganda Police in the past announced the ban on importation of aerial camera drones due to security concerns and absence of regulation in the country.
Those that had aerial drone cameras before the announcement were asked to register with Uganda Revenue Authority.
Government must move fast on drafting an aerial drone law because they are now part of our day to day activities.
A local media house has covered some events like the Kampala Carnival using an aerial drone which takes journalism to another new level.
It gave quite unseen aerial view which would not be possible with normal cameras.
In two years, Aerial drone usage and manufacturing is expected to triple world over.
It is possible that drones will be future Christmas gifts. You can find one online from as low as $79.90 depending on features you need.[related_posts]
Aerial drones were used in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi for filming skiing and snowboarding events. They are more flexible than cable-suspended camera systems.
In September 2014 drones weighing about 5 kg were used for 3D mapping of the above-ground ruins of the Greek city of Aphrodisias.
Absence of the law will affect innovation in science. Some Ugandan universities and organisations had already started working on drone projects.
Last year African Space Research Programme (ASRP) amazed Ugandans when they launched a drone made in Uganda.
This Ugandan drone has two cameras, a custom-made autopilot system, GPS instruments and among other things.
Drones are the future of technological advancement for journalism, surveillance of land, filming, agriculture, terrorism, crowd monitoring, fire fighting monitoring, wildlife control, service delivery, and security.
They may be great in traffic flow monitoring. South Africa is piloting a similar project. Aerial Drones can reduce cost of traffic flow management.
Imagine money that goes into deploying traffic officers and fueling their fleets.
It was reported in the media that Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) plans to secure drones to help monitor illegal trade in wildlife products.
Drones may be the future of hostage and terror attack monitoring to ensure quick response. Rural service provision especially delivery of packages or service like internet.
In some counties domestic drones are deployed to provide wireless internet service. Aerial drones can boost farming through aerial surveying of crops and animals.
Government can raise revenue through aerial camera drone. Usage of Aerial camera drones for commercial usage must attract a permit.
This can be a source of revenue for government on top of the taxes upon importation.
There is need to regulate drone usage to safety guard privacy concerns not a ban. These low flying equipments that may not be detected by radar system hence risk on security installations.
The regulation will also help with highlighting the permissible uses and allowed types of drones for government and private agencies.
The laws can regulate drone usage, drone capacity, what time to fly them and who can fly them and where to fly them.
Security forces must also be required to have a warrant if they are to fly drones in private and public places.
Drones can be combined with other forms of technology which poses more specific risks in absence of a law. The Aerial drones’ law can go extra mile to cover military drones.
Ivan N Baliboola
PR and Organisational diagnosis specialist.