Drone Wars Library – Civil use of drones

| Autonomy | Civil use of drones | Civilian casualties | Drone pilots | Ethical issues | General overview |
| Israel and drones | Proliferation | Targeted Killing and Legal Issues | UK drone operations | US drone operations |

police dronesCivil use of drones

So far drones have mostly been used for military purposes. However companies large and small are increasingly pressing governments to open up airspace to civil (sometimes called domestic) drone use, often using wildly optimistic forecasts of predicted economic benefits.  Regulators however insist that drones need to dramatically improve their safety records while civil liberties campaigners are expressing real concerns about the impact on privacy if drones take to the skies without strong safeguards.


Key documents and articles

Oct 2014 The Security Impact of Drones: Challenges and Opportunities for the UK Overview of the security impact of military and civilian drones by Birmingham Policy Commission
Sept 2014 Drones are filling Britain’s skies 300 companies and public bodies operate drones in UK airspace
July 2014 House of Lords launches inquiry into civil use of drones Peers investigate safety, privacy and economic impact of drones
May 2014 Back from the Battlefield: domestic drones in the UK Statewatch and Drone Wars UK report into use of civil drones in UK
Apr 2014 European Commission calls for tough civil drone rules Press Release from EC on use of drones in civil airspace.
Jan 2014 Putting Drones to the Test NYT calls for legislation to protect public from domestic use of drones
Nov 2013 Integration of Civil UAS in National Airspace Roadmap FAA’s plans for integrating drones into US airspace
Oct 2013 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: A New Industrial System? Discussion paper from Royal Aeronautical Society focused on producers
Jun 2013 Challenging Privacy? The civil use of drones in the UK Notes and documents from APPG meeting on civil use of drones
Jan 2013 Revealed: who can fly drones in UK airspace Guardian details who has permission to fly UAVs in UK
Oct 2012 Roundtable: development of civilian UAVs Discussion of civil use of drones in UK by industry experts
Sep 2012 Towards a European strategy for the development of civil applications of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems European Commission working document on opening European civil airspace to unmanned drones by 2016
Jan 2011 Attack of the Drones – The Guardian How police and civil authorities are catching up with military use of drones

Further information

Articles on Drone Wars UK tagged ‘civil use of drones’.


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