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Ireland may allow commercial drone deliveries

William Payne
January 20, 2016
The Irish Aviation Authority has hinted that it may allow commercial drone deliveries. It said in a statement that it had been approached to allow drone testing, which is being seen as opening the way to the use of commercial drones.

Ireland's neighbour, the UK, is seen as being open to drone testing, which may well influence the IAA to adopt a competitively liberal approach to regulation. Ireland is also the European home to a number of US firms that have interests in developing drone technologies, including Google and Amazon.

Before Christmas, the IAA published an online drone registration system to support its recently issued drone regulations.

According to the IAA, it has received informal approaches on allowing drone testing. However, it said that it has not received any formal applications to set up a drone testing zone in the country.

The IAA statement said that it would consider any application to set up a drone testing zone over part of Ireland on its merits.

The Irish Air Traffic Controllers Association has indicated that it believes that the IAA is planning to allow drone testing in the country in 2016.

Although the IAA has not demarcated an area of the country for drone testing to date, or issued licenses for commerical drone deliveries, the authority already possesses the power to do so. The primary legislation already makes provision for the designation of airspace for commercial drone activity, according to the IAA.