It's a game of drones for tech industry
Published 22/08/2015 | 02:30
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Actually, no but you will need a licence to operate one as the drone craze that has gripped Ireland looks set to be a cash cow for the country's economy.
Drones, or remote piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), had their day in the sun yesterday at the inaugural Unmanned Aircraft Association of Ireland's (UAAI) Open Day at Weston Airport.
With more than 4,000 estimated drones here, there has been an explosion in interest in the flying machines and Ireland is now one of just six EU member states who have regulated their use.
Drones are being used for a range of commercial purposes, including mapping, surveying and filming - though there are strict regulations in place for their use and only those with licences can operate them.
Chair of the UAAI, Captain Julie Garland, said the industry was expected to be worth some €14bn by 2017.
She added that Ireland was "well positioned" to take "a large slice of that pie" due to the expanses of open land and the leading software developers based here.