Friday 6 December 2019

Gavin urges drone users to respect the rules of flight

Dublin manager Jim Gavin issued a pre-Christmas warning
about flying drones in public or near Dublin Airport
Dublin manager Jim Gavin issued a pre-Christmas warning about flying drones in public or near Dublin Airport

His name is synonymous with Croke Park, but if you want a bird's-eye view of the pitch, don't even think about flying a drone anywhere near the stadium, says Dublin senior football manager Jim Gavin.

While he is best known as the legendary manager who led the Dubs to an unprecedented five senior football championship victories in a row, he is also the assistant director of the Safety Regulation Division for the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

"My hobby is manager of the Dubs, but my profession is with the IAA," he said.

Homework

And he takes the job of making sure our airspace is safe just as seriously as leading the Boys in Blue, with a new campaign by the IAA urging consumers to do their homework before buying a drone as a present.

"Christmas is just around the corner and lots of young and old 'kids' will get drones for Christmas," he told the Herald.

He said people need to be aware of the laws governing the use of drones before they take them for a "test" spin on Christmas Day.

He added: "A drone is an unmanned aircraft and we want people to operate it as if you are in that unmanned aircraft."

For example, flying a drone to get a bird's-eye view of the pitch at Croke Park would be strictly forbidden.

Not only is it illegal to fly within five kilometres of an airport or aerodrome, it is also illegal to fly a drone over a crowd of a dozen or more people at a sports event, parade or other gathering.

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