The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is undertaking a new project to investigate if drones could help with search and rescue by visiting the scene ahead of air, sea or land based recovery teams. The agency is interested in finding out whether this advance surveillance capability could provide a picture of the situation and help to develop the best response.
In particular, the project will explore how current regulations can be changed to unlock the potential for drones to help those in distress on the UK’s coastline. Currently, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) imposes restrictions on drone flights that make it difficult to launch quickly in a response situation, according to MCA aviation requirements lead Paul Eathorne. Read on.