Coverdrone (www.coverdrone.com) reports that according to research by the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper more than twenty UK local authories have been granted approval by the Civil Aviation Authority to use drones for commercial purposes. “Councils can utilise the technology for a range of enforcement activities; including inspecting poor roofing work by rogue traders, flying over open land looking for livestock carcasses or inspecting sites in relation to breaches of planning controls….These are just a few examples of how drones can help councils and other public bodies to ‘work smarter’, make more efficient use of resources and enhance health and safety. There are clearly many benefits, the main advantage being how cost-effective drones can be. In many sectors, being able to fly a drone above hard-to-get installations or large areas of land is massively cheaper than employing small aircraft. Furthermore, drones are incredibly agile, and the latest technology means that they can provide rich, detailed visual information.
Drones are already used across the country to investigate illegal dumping of waste. North Yorkshire Council recently spent almost UKP2,000 on an aircraft, which is to be licensed by the CAA. Matt O’Neill Assistant Director of Growth, Planning and Trading Standards at North Yorkshire County Council, was quoted as saying: “Like many councils, we use advances in technology to help us to work smarter. It’s a useful addition to the tools available to the county council, enabling us to make more efficient use of our limited resources and to enhance health and safety”.
“It could also include inspecting sites in relation to breaches of minerals and waste planning controls, for example, illegal disposal of waste such as building materials on farmland; compliance with boundary limits for extraction in quarrying or restoration of landfill requirements like planting trees in the right locations”.