Latvia's runaway drone was flying unlicensed

Take note – story published 3 years ago

The flight of the drone lost in early May and missing for over two weeks had not been arranged with the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA), representative Aivis Vincevs told news agency LETA on May 25.

The incident on May 2 caused closing of airspace at the Riga International Airport, redirecting a flight to Tallinn and extensive searches. Therefore, the manufacturer and owner UAVFactory had their permit for high-risk flights temporarily suspended.

The CAA has now completed a monitoring audit of the company, as well as conducted investigations into the administrative infringement case. In both processes, the findings and evidence so far allow for the renewal of the previously suspended permit, the agency said. 

In the view of CAA, the situation of losing control over an unmanned aircraft has raised the issue for the need for a legal framework for self-constructed and experimental unmanned aircraft. 

Within the CAA surveillance audit, shortcomings were identified which the company was obliged to prevent and has allegedly done so, such as equipping the aircraft with an alternative safety system to prevent it flying outside the designated area.

The drone's Twitter account, which had appeared during its uncontrolled travels, has not said anything about flying without a license.

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