06 December 2017
In Nepal, at the time of the twin earthquakes in 2015, there were no local laws governing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Concerns quickly arose about their responsible deployment in the disaster response. Despite positive NGO communication about their use for identifying resources and survivors, the Nepali authorities ultimately placed severe ad hoc restrictions on UAVs.
This followed fears that they were flying too close to security installations and historical sites, and posed a risk to approaching aircraft. Those regulations included restricting flying time to 15 minutes and travelling no further than 300 metres from the pilot, and introduced no-fly zones over houses. These significantly undermined the realisation of UAVs’ potential.
… Martin Searle is an Associate Research Fellow with the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme, Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), in Singapore. This commentary is timed with the Regional Consultative Group meeting on humanitarian coordination on 5-6 December 2017, Singapore
Last updated on 11/12/2017