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Engage hobbyists in regulating drone flying

The devices pictured in last Sunday's report ("No permit, but drones are still flying high") are not considered drones but are actually remote-controlled aircraft, which have no geo-fencing built into their control systems.

Drones - usually quadcopters or hexacopters - built by more reputable companies such as DJI have geo-fencing built in to deter errant hobbyists from even launching them within 5km of airports.

While there are always errant hobbyists who flout even the most stringent of regulations, there are also many who respect the law.

Many hobbyists have proactively applied for permits if they know they need to fly in restricted air space or where there is a potential risk involved. But, as the report mentioned, it may be a long time before a decision is made on the applications.

Let us allow this growing recreational pursuit to thrive, and use other means of regulating it, such as through constant education and consultation with hobby groups and the public.

Andrew Yap Jong Teng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 06, 2016, with the headline 'Engage hobbyists in regulating drone flying'. Print Edition | Subscribe