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The Civil Aviation Department got a first-hand look at some impressive SUA action today when we were treated to a demonstration by an experienced operator. The purpose of attending the demonstration was to gain a better understanding of SUA characteristics and capabilities. This will be particularly useful as the OTs and ASSI collectively review the existing regulations on SUA operations. With the capabilities and level of complexity of SUAs burgeoning at a rate that is difficult to keep up with, getting the regulatory requirements right is a difficult task but we have to ensure that the rules have the appropriate impact for everybody involved.

Stanley Airport hosted the demonstration and they were also interested in seeing the potential for an SUA to become the latest device in their wildlife dispersal tool box. It was very interesting to note that the SUA used for this part of the demonstration had an obvious and immediate effect on some species of birds and none at all on others. Still, there was some clear potential on display.

It’s just as well SUAs are just mechanical machines without emotions, otherwise the ones on display today may have had their noses put out of joint when Fergal the adorable Labrador stole the show. Fergal was also demonstrating his first attempts at giving wildlife dispersal a go. Our thanks to Ian France (and his SUAs) and Mike Brownlee (and Fergal) from the airport rescue and fire fighting service and Morgan Goss, General manager of Aviation Services for hosting the demonstration.

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