Held at the Gatwick Aviation Museum, Drone Safe Register hosted over 100 professional members for its second meeting.
The location of the event, just metres away from the end of the runway at Gatwick Airport, was a deliberate decision to combat the negative narratives of Gatwick and drones and push the message of ‘Drones for Good.’
As part of the event and as a way of seeking answers to industry issues, DSR welcomed Andrew Hamilton and Kevin Woolsey from the CAA UAS unit and Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, Gold Commander for the Gatwick incident and head of Armed policing for Sussex and Surrey, to talk to members about the Gatwick incident as well as other subjects.
Mark Boyt, CEO at DSR, commented: “Guest speakers at this level are what sets DSR apart, and we were thrilled to host these guys at our members’ business meeting. Using this venue, situated meters from the end of Gatwick Runway was important as we wanted to deal candidly with the consequences of the drone incident at Gatwick last year and the knock-on effect it has had in the commercial sector for drone hire services.”
He added: “Many of our members have reported a downturn in enquiries as well as an increased anti-drone feeling among the general public, with others citing an increase in verbal abuse and hostility since Gatwick. It’s important for DSR to help separate the facts from the fiction and continue with our own narrative that drones, in the right hands and flying with the correct permissions, are a force for good”
As well as hearing the latest news and plans for Drone Safe Register concerning DSR’s activity with Major National Accounts, members heard from industry experts and insurance professionals Coverdrone and Qlaims along with teams from Yuneec and iRed providing workshop and product expertise and an overview on Commercial Drone Professional magazine by Alex Douglas.
CDP gave members’ a brief history of the magazine, an overview of some of the milestones within the time and detailed how members’ can get involved with their business and ‘Drones for Good’ success stories.
Reflecting on the day, DSR said the informative talks from the CAA UAS team and Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw regarding the events both during and six months after the Gatwick incident are what have got everyone talking.
The CAA team of Andrew Hamilton (UAS Sector Lead) and Kevin Woolsey (UAS Policy Lead) rolled up their sleeves for an hour and half Q&A session fielding many questions from those in the room as well as from around the country.
Topics such as the Gatwick drone incursion last year, EASA harmonisation, recent regulatory legislation and the November drone registration requirement topped the agenda of discussion.
Following the CAA panel, superintendent Justin Burtenshaw Gold Commander for the Gatwick incident and head of armed policing for Sussex and Surrey joined the members for further talks.
The rest of the afternoon was given over to hands on workshops from iRed regarding thermal imaging, sessions on colour grading with Adam and Alex from Echo Alfa, and photography tips and tricks from Jessops.
Then, to conclude the day, and by following a properly formatted Operating Safety Case, DSR managed to fly drones in a safe and appropriate way just metres away from the end of the Gatwick runway.