West Sussex county council’s £36k drone never flown


A £36,000 drone owned by West Sussex county council has yet to be used despite being bought 18 months ago.

The drone was purchased for £20,850 for use in surveying as well as to assist the local fire service.

In addition to the cost of the drone unit itself, West Sussex county council also paid out £12,353 for staff training as well as £2,753 on insurance.

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A council spokesman said: “We acknowledge there has been a delay in using the drone.

“We have faced a number of difficulties, mainly around licensing, and as a result we are reviewing its future use.”

West Sussex county council was one of the first local authorities to invest in a drone.

Labour councillor Michael Jones told the PA news agency: “I was genuinely staggered when I was told that it had never been used, particularly as it had been bought with such fanfare.

“I think it’s an insult to taxpayers.”

For a drone to be flown within 150m of a congested area or within 50m of people, written permission is required from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Under incoming regulations, the CAA will require all drone operators to be registered which will incur an additional annual fee.

The drone’s use is currently under review by the local authority.

Tags : Drone Licencingfire serviceWest Sussex County Council
Matthew Trask

The author Matthew Trask

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