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Drones on ice: An assessment of the legal implications of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in scientific research and by the tourist industry in Antarctica.

Project Member(s): Leary, D.

Start year: 2016

Summary: This project aims to address the question do we need regulation of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in scientific research and by the tourist industry in Antarctica? A second aim of the project is to map possible options for regulation under the mechanisms of the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctica Treaty and other sources of international law. UAVs are increasingly used in scientific research and a diverse range of other applications. If used responsibly they may be less invasive than other research techniques and offer a rich source of new scientific data. But their use by scientists and tourists in Antarctica may come with environmental impacts. Since 2014 this issue has been on the agenda of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative meetings. It is an issue that has implications for how scientific research is conducted in Antarctica and beyond, but there have been no detailed studies which consider the regulatory implications of the use of UAV's in Antarctica. This project aligns closely with the UTS Research Strategy to generate excellent scholarship and research which contributes to debate, policy and law-making objectives in the field of sustainability.

Publications:

Leary, DK 2017, 'Drones on ice: an assessment of the legal implications of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in scientific research and by the tourist industry in Antarctica.', Polar Record, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 343-357.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Keywords: drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, regulation, Antarctica.

FOR Codes: Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified