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IAATO bans recreational use of drones in Antarctica

Staff writer |
International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) members have agreed that, for the 2015-2016 season, they will not allow the recreational use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the coastal areas of Antarctica.

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Recognizing the value of UAVs for research and certain commercial uses, such as documentary filmmaking, the intent is to ensure that their use is contained and carefully controlled.

The ban will be reviewed next year to allow for potential technological advances and further developments within the regulatory community.

The agreement was made at IAATO’s 26th Annual Meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 28 to 30 April 2015. Other significant outcomes included the formation of a new Fly/Cruise Working Group to lead discussions on effectively managing this young and growing area of the Antarctic tourism sector.

The Working Group will also discuss and develop industry best practices to improve coordination and add to IAATO’s existing procedures that promote safe and environmentally responsible member activities in Antarctica.

More than 130 people attended IAATO’s largest meeting to date, representing member companies, governments, charitable trusts and others with a vested interest in Antarctica’s future.

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