Client Profile: Dronesafe

The world has changed at an unprecedented rate over the last thirty years. Twenty years ago, the internet scarcely existed, and there was no digital economy. Today, the digital economy is worth more than three trillion dollars.

Our system of law is based on court decisions and precedents built over centuries. It is not equipped to deal with the magnitude or speed of change we have experienced over the last thirty years.  Legislation can only move as fast as the government can respond and laws tend to be passed based on what has happened in the recent past with little guidance as to the future.

New products, industries and marketplaces start up and exist in the current legal landscape with existing laws extended to apply to these new circumstances. Sometimes this works well and sometimes the gaps require legislative attention.

The drone industry is a good example. According to a report by Goldman Sachs:

“Like the internet and GPS before them, drones are evolving beyond their military origins into a powerful business tools. They’ve already made the leap to the consumer market, and now they are being put to work in consumer and civil government applications from firefighting to farming.”

There is increasing recognition by government and regulators that there is a need for controls and compliance around the use of drones in Australia. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), has introduced a number of regulations covering flight operations, as well as requirements for licencing and accreditation.

However, as far as laws around liability for commercial use we are looking to a number of places, including duty of care at common law and Damage by Aircraft Act 1999. Privacy laws and tort of nuisance are also be relevant.

Bayston Group’s strength across the many and varied areas of law that impact Australian businesses puts us in a great position to assist clients dealing with new technologies or developing new opportunities for existing technologies.

Back to the example of drones, increasingly drones are bringing efficiencies and new ways of doing things to many industries. Bayston Group is working with clients in the fast paced and innovative drone industry; in particular the Institute for Drone Technology™ and Dronesafe®.

The Institute for Drone Technology™ is a Registered Training Organisation which provides courses into schools and educational institutions as well as bespoke training and development for business clients that want to act strategically and implement effective, sustainable drone integration practices and develop the related best practice management system.

Dronesafe®’s product is a structured and consistent step-by-step pre- and post-flight checklist for drone pilots to ensure safe and effective usage while also providing an audit trail of all flights. The mobile application makes it easy for pilots to operate within CASA requirements. In addition, Dronesafe®’s centralised monitoring and reporting provides managers with an up-to-the minute picture of all aspects of the drone operations. Dronesafe® greatly improves the safety of drone operations for businesses and the general public.

An example of Dronesafe® in action is Parkes Shire Council who have signed up to Dronesafe®. They see enormous potential in the use of drones, but also understands the need for them to be operated safely and within CASA regulations.

With the assistance of Dronesafe®, the council is positioning itself as a leader in the rural operation of drones. Drone technology can really assist councils in remote areas who face the challenge of vast distances and inaccessible terrain. Drones can reduce costs, increase responsiveness and reduce risks to workers.

The uses drones can be put to in regional Australia include:

  • Providing rapid reconnaissance in response to natural disasters
  • Identifying and spraying noxious weeds
  • Aerial surveying and other engineering work
  • Asset inspections
  • Data collection
  • Footage capture of community events for marketing

Bayston Group are working closely with their drone industry clients, helping with all their legal needs. As well as navigating the legal risks faced by any business operating in the Australian landscape, we are also offering support applying current law and keeping abreast of the new developments in the fast-moving space of drone regulation. It’s how we like to work – assisting a growing industry and new applications.

If you are a business who has been considering the use of drone technology, get in touch. We can help you understand the legal landscape and assist with documentation and policies and procedures that mitigate risks where possible. We would also love to introduce you to some of our other clients who are at the cutting edge in the commercialisation of the drone industry in Australia, including the training and education provider Institute for Drone Technology™, as well as Dronesafe® who provide the corporate solutions for effective control and compliance of drone operation.