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Cyprus

MPs discuss urgent need to update drone use rules

The need to update legislation regulating the use of drones was discussed by the House legal committee on Wednesday.

In statements after the end of the session, Disy MP Andreas Kyprianou said that no one should violate anyone’s private life using modern technologies and raised the issue of national security at a time when a drone can also fly over military areas.

He said this needs to be regulated and there was an absolute consensus in the committee on the issue and the subject would be discussed again after the submission of a specific legislative proposal by the government.

“Unfortunately technology is ahead of legislation,” Akel MP Aristos Damianou said, adding that that there was no legislation regulating the operation of drones.

He said the present uncontrolled state of affairs had significant consequences on flight safety and human rights issues.

According to the MP there have been incidents of violations of citizens’ privacy and personal data, and there was a serious problem with the implementation of KDP 402/2015 by which the civil aviation department licenses the operation of the drones.

“We urgently need to legislate this issue … we are already late,” he said.

The issue is due to be discussed again in two months pending the submission of a specific bill.

He said the police had expressed concerns about the possible illegal use of drones.

Just last week drone instructors met with the transport minister and members of the civil aviation department, asking for the legislation to be updated.

At the meeting, they warned that drones were very different when the current law was drafted in 2015 and present regulations are obsolete.

Not only the size, weight, cost, and popularity of drones has changed but lighter drones can also carry more precise cameras and fly at greater heights.

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