The Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, announced in Parliament yesterday that the government will soon regulate the use of drones for photography and video recording purposes.
The PM mentioned the introduction of regulations to control the use of drones in the country when responding to a question set by Alan Ganoo from political party Mouvement militant mauricien (MMM). Alan Ganoo’s query pertained to security issues and the respect for privacy.
It is to be noted that those machines weighing between 7 and 20 kg are already regulated by the Civil Aviation Regulations of 2007. Those drones of less than 7 kg do not fall under this rule because they are considered to be “model aircrafts” which are kept for recreational purposes.
The PM explained that drones might constitute a security problem, namely for airplanes and also relating to the privacy of the population. Therefore, according to him, regulations formulated to preserve security have to be implemented. The rules and regulations are already ready, as per the statements of SAJ. The authorities concerned will need to be consulted to frame them according to European models.
Alan Ganoo also wished to know whether a new bill will be introduced. But, the PM indicated that only a set of regulations will be put into force for now, but if the need so arises in the future, they might then be legislated.
The Leader of the Opposition, Paul Berenger, added that India had banned all drones while waiting for the introduction of a law. He then asked whether the Mauritian government will cater for any such measure until the regulations are implemented. The PM then stated that they might soon be banned. Shakeel Mohamed had then intervened to remark that the government should not take dramatic steps either.