After the recent news that drones fitted with cameras will be banned in Thailand, science teachers in the country have expressed concern over the Transport Ministry’s new policy which will severely limit the use of drones, including drone operation in schools’ curriculums.
Drone ban affects education
Many people probably aren’t even aware that schools in Thailand are using drones in their education programmes, but there are schools around Korat (and 12 others elsewhere) that were already chosen to take part in a special educational programme and had planned to teach students how to fly and use drones.
Under the new rules, all drone flights need to be notified to the authorities and permission is required in advance, but this would obviously make it challenging to successfully teach the subject.
One of the science teachers, Sutthiphan Jansawong, of Kham Thale Sor school in Nakhon Ratchasima, said that he understood the importance of the policy, as unregulated operation of civilian drones can interfere with aviation safety and national security.
But besides permission being obtained in advance of any drone flight, the Transport Ministry also says that drones cannot travel over 500 feet (many drones now such as the DJI Phantom Vision series can go well above 800 feet), must carry no camera, and should be fuelled so they can last longer than an hour. Those requirements make it nearly impossible to fly most current generation drones, whose batteries last around 20-25 minutes on a single charge.
Anyone that violates the new rules could face one year in prison and a maximum fine of 40,000 baht (around £800 or $1,200).
You may enjoy this YouTube video by HeliPal which shows just how fast an manoeuvrable drones can be these days (25 seconds in is where the drone goes into overdrive!):
Should drones be stiffly regulated, or are the new proposals going too far? Perhaps you have a drone or are interested in buying one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
SOURCE: The Nation