In our continuing series on UAS developments overseas, we look at yet another example that demonstrates that all countries, no matter how low their GDP might be, are being impacted by the proliferation of low-cost UAS technology.  Last week, the Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority issued the following Order:

This is hereby informed (sic.) that recently some enthusiastic persons and organizations are flying Drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (UAV/UAS), Remote Controlled Planes/Toy planes etc. in the Bangladesh airspace without any prior permission.

These types of unauthorized flying activities pose a serious risk for anytime (sic.) to cause mid-air collision or similar devastating accidents with other authorized civil passenger planes regularly operated by several domestic and international airlines, helicopters and high speed military jet planes.

Under the circumstances, for the safety and security of life and properly (sic.) of the people and for the national security, henceforth any person, company or organization intending to operate any flying object like Drone, UAV/UAS or remote controlled planes/ toy planes etc. is to obtain prior written permission from the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) in prescribed form.

It may be mentioned that Civil Aviation Authority is the sole authority of regulating all civil flying activities in Bangladesh Airspace.

To the extent that countries like Bangladesh are having problems regulating UAS activity now, that problem is only going to continue to grow.  According to a new study, by 2018, the small UAS market will surpass $8.4 billion.  The study indicates that by 2019, the Commercial sector will dominate the overall sUAS market with revenues exceeding $5.1 billion, “roughly 5x larger than the Prosumer/Hobby market, and 2.3x greater than the Military/Civil market segment.”

Economic numbers like this are very exciting.  That excitement must be tempered, however, by the realization that this level of economic activity can only be achieved and sustained if there is a solid regulatory foundation that safely integrates these new users into the airspace.  Anything less, and UAS technology will never live up to its full potential.

(Originally posted January 8, 2015)