By @SimonCocking. Great drone insights from John Wright, founder of Mydrone.ie, lawyer, drone pilot, and chairman of Unmanned Aircraft Association of Ireland. Co-founder of Flightpath Consulting. 

What aspects of drones / uavs are you excited about?

2016 will bring some exciting changes and in increasing focus on “commercial” drones.

The biggest thing to watch will be the regulations – the boon that the drone industry has been waiting for. The Irish Aviation Authority just introduced new laws and there are impending EU rules. The European Aviation Safety Agency are examining the most appropriate way to open up airspace across Europe to drones. Although there’s plenty of  further development needed, so far it’s looking very positive.

What opportunities exist in the Dublin / Irish context?

Commercially, the bronze age is over and we have entered a new Model-T phase. Companies are now exploring drones for things like mapping, surveys, inspections and in the media, journalism. The business value is becoming more clear and the question will be increasingly on how this value can be scaled into “day to day” solutions.  Each company will have legal, operational and technical considerations to achieve this and seeing drones develop into an everyday solution is particularly exciting.

What can we expect to see coming in the next 6 – 18 months?

Ireland is a green field for the drone industry, with a rich pool of talent, research centres and a progressive aviation regulator. And not just for pilots or hardware manufacturers. Software development in central – for automated flight control, data gathering and data processing.  Data-analytics is also a promising area. Drones collect enormous data-sets and users must be able to interpret this information and generate useful insights. The resources available make Ireland an attractive destination for foreign direct investment and enable domestic companies to grow beyond our shores.


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