In our last article, we focused on the use of drones abroad, primarily as aides in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Today, we will look at some of the uses of drones within the Czech Republic and conclude with a discussion of the new rules prepared by the European Commission. In the Czech Republic they will start to apply from 31.12. 2020.
At the beginning, we will stay for a while with the most watched topic of the last few months, namely the coronavirus pandemic. This time we look at Brno, where the company Free Horizons tested the Argus UAV drone, on which it placed a special disinfectant spray. The drone and its tank weigh around 25 kilograms and can carry five litres of disinfectant at a time.
“We have tested that it can stay in the air for 20 minutes with its cargo and the dose we applied lasts for three weeks,” said Hanzlík from Free Horizons.
“It is still testing, but we have seen that it has had an effect. Even if it is not necessary to disinfect outdoor areas for coronavirus, it may be useful on other occasions. I think it is a much more effective and efficient disinfection process than if someone had to do it manually,” said Martin Maleček, the mayor of the Brno-sever district.
For more news, we move to the Pilsen region, where drones are helping local foresters fight the bark beetle calamity. The drones were developed directly by the city’s information technology administration and they identify infested trees either by dry tips or by using a multispectral camera. This gives foresters time to cut down and remove the tree before it infects others in the area.
Thanks to drones, experts are able to create a so-called orthophotomap of a large area covering tens of hectares of forest.
“In the photos you can find dry tree tops, a typical sign of an infestation. Foresters can see a large part of the forest in a moment, which saves them time and gives them a valuable head start against bark beetles,” said Pavel Šmíd, Director of the Drones Section.
Last autumn, drones from Plzeň became the first in the Czech Republic to be part of the integrated rescue system.
Finally, we would like to remind you that flying with drones in the Czech Republic will have new rules from the new year. The pending legislation, which was due to be in force from 1 July, has been postponed until 31 December in order to focus on priorities related to combating the spread of coronavirus. this year.
The new rules will mainly concern the registration of drones, the conditions for their operation and the requirements for their technical parameters. Uniform rules will regulate the operation of drones in all EU countries.
The registration obligation will apply to all drones over 250 grams, as well as lighter machines with a camera or high speed that cannot be included in the toy category.
Three basic categories of drone operation will be introduced: ‘open’, ‘specific’ and ‘certified’. The lowest open category of flying will allow the operation of a drone without prior permission from the authority, provided that clearly defined conditions are met. The middle specific flying category will allow those who do not fit within the limits of the open category to operate. The highest certified, category is planned more for sophisticated UAV operations in the future.
The rules do not change the current locations in which drone operations are prohibited or restricted. For a transitional period of two years, it will be possible to operate drones even under the current rules.