Keeping pace with technology: drones, disturbance and policy deficiency
Wallace, P. J., Martin, R., & White, I. (2017). Keeping pace with technology: drones, disturbance and policy deficiency. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, -online. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2017.1353957
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11292
This paper analyses regulatory responses to rapid intensiﬁcation of the use of drones/remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in the context of wildlife protection. Beneﬁts and disadvantages of the technology to wildlife are examined, before three key limitations in policy and law are identiﬁed: failure to address wildlife disturbance in RPA regulation; reliance upon insufﬁciently comprehensive existing wildlife protection legislation to manage disturbance effects; and limited species-speciﬁc research on disturbance. A New Zealand case study further reveals an inconsistent regulatory approach struggling to keep pace with innovation, inadequate regulatory capture of environmental effects due to exemption as “aircraft”, and no recognition that speciﬁc geographical locations, such as coastal areas, distinguished by recreational pressures and high numbers of threatened species require special consideration. Recommendations include acknowledging the impact on wildlife in policy, gap analysis of legal arrangements for protection from disturbance (including airspace), and adoption of minimum approach distances to threatened species.
Taylor & Francis Group
This is an author’s submitted version of an article published in the journal: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. © 2017 Newcastle University.
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