Two major associations representing tour operators in the Arctic and Antarctic have stated that they will not allow visitors to bring recreational Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) into the regions.
The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators and the Association of Cruise Operators have both announced that they will forbid their cruise passengers to use UAVs in the upcoming season, Maritime Executive reports.
The popularity of the flight and camera systems has grown considerably in the last several years due to the fact that the devices are generally lightweight and inexpensive. Many tourists use the devices to capture photographs and videos of the surrounding landscapes. However, the operation of UAVs may lead to increased noise pollution, disturbances to wildlife and may interfere with scientific work.
UAV systems weighing under 22kg do not require any type of operator certification, which has raised concerns regarding potential pilot errors resulting in lost vehicles or damage to protected areas.
The ban on UAV extends only to use for recreational purposes. IAATO further stated that its ban will be reviewed next year to allow for changes in UAV regulations as well as potential technological advances.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Shipping company using drones in the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic
United States: Drones over Alaska: UAVs may play big role in developing Arctic, Alaska Dispatch News