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Ministry unable to police drone owners
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29 August 2018
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Minister of Communication and Aviation Peter Shanel Agovaka. [File Photo]



THE Ministry of Communication and Aviation has been unable to monitor and police licensed drone owners due to lack of finance and staff.

Minister Peter Shanel clarified this in parliament in response to a question asked by the MP for Aoke/Langalanga Mathew Wale.

Mr Wale wanted to know how the ministry polices licensed drone owners and how can the public know which drones are licensed.

In response, Mr Shanel requested the public to report to his ministry uncertified drones.

“Drones are useful for surveying and planning,” Mr Shanel said.

But he said those owning drones must apply to his ministry for licences.

MP for East Honiara Douglas Ete also asked how many drones the government purchased.

But Mr Shanel said he does not have the answer, but will get his ministry to provide the figures.

Asked what the level of regulations on all drone specifications is, Mr Shanel said Solomon Islands is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisations and we must comply with the rules and regulations as submitted by the organisation.

He said one of the basic regulations is the prohibition of flying drones near all airports in the country.

To get a licence, Mr Shanel said owners must apply to the Civil Aviation Authority.

He further added that when these certificates are issued, the specifications of flight regulations such as the height of flight and flight zones applicable with the certificate are also issued.

Many drone owners in the country use them to shoot photos and videos.

By ANDREW FANASIA

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