The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has unveiled a draft version of the first set of global standards for drone operations and is inviting professionals, academics and businesses to submit comments by 21 January 2019.
The standards address operational requirements for aerial drones, with protocols for both safety and security – including the promotion of no-fly zones, the need for flight log protocols, maintenance, training and flight documentation.
They also address public concerns over privacy and data protection by requiring operators to have appropriate systems to handle data alongside communications and control planning when flying.
There are many instances where drones are used in the Australian mining sector, most notably by keeping workers out of harm’s way. They can be found in some of BHP’s coal mines in Queensland, for example, used to ensure areas are clear before a blast takes place and to track fumes post-blast.
Drones can also be operated to improve road safety on sites, by monitoring traffic, road conditions and hazards or used maintenance teams to help inspect overhead cranes, towers and roofs of buildings to avoid working at height.
The ISO believes that the drone operation standards is a step towards improving public perceptions surrounding drone technology, ultimately triggering a boom market and spurring market growth across the globe.
Draft International Standards for Drone Operations convenor, Robert Garbett, explained that the standards is a result of ‘three years of hard work’, with significant international cooperation between standards bodies across the world.
Garbett added that final adoption of the standards is expected worldwide in 2019, with more to be developed that will cover drone use in other environments such as ground, water, and space.
“These standards will undoubtedly lead to a new confidence in safety, security and compliance within this dynamic industry, resulting in a massive expansion in the availability and use of drone technology in the years to come.”
“My conversations with drone buyers, manufacturers, users and the wider public indicate that these standards are warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by all. I would encourage all those with an interest in drones to engage with the consultation process so that no stone has been left unturned in our quest for the creation and adoption of best-practice drone standards,” Mr Garbett said.