This week in Legislative Assembly, MLA Edwards commented on the work of the Civil Aviation Department.

In Regulatory Services work is under way on several streams of aviation safety awareness projects. For very good reasons there are strict rules about the sorts of items that can be transported by air and many items fall into the category of Dangerous Goods. These items either must not be transported by air or must be packaged and labelled appropriately to ensure that they don’t pose an unacceptable risk to aircraft and their passengers. Anybody whether they are an airline employee, a postal worker, a freight forwarder or simply an individual who pops something into the post, has a part to play in ensuring that Dangerous Goods are appropriately identified and packaged accordingly in the interests of flight safety and Regulatory Services will be getting that message out to the community in a number of different ways in coming months.

The department will be expanding on its drone awareness campaign as well. Drones, or small unmanned aircraft, are increasingly being used for commercial applications, even here in the Falklands, and it is important that anyone operating one is aware of the restrictions that apply to their safe use. Almost every week now there are news items around the world about drones being operated irresponsibly and causing significant hazards to aviation traffic. If you intend to operate a drone in the islands it is important that you contact Regulatory Services to find out what the Civil Aviation Requirements for their use are because operating drones outside of the rules is an offence under aviation legislation.

Regulatory Services is also working with the MoD to ensure that all of the taller transmission masts and other similar structures that may pose a threat to low flying aircraft are correctly documented in the relevant safety publications and on charts and, if necessary, they are appropriately lit and marked to ensure they are readily visible to pilots in poor visibility conditions. There is a lot of low-level flying in the islands by both FIGAS and military aircraft and it’s important that masts are clear for everybody to see. In recent times some mast lights have been out of service for much longer than they should be so Regulatory Services is working hard with the various owners of the masts to ensure that they are lit properly.

MLA Edwards has commented on the safety awareness work that has commenced within the Civil Aviation Department regarding drones and Dangerous Goods. Our respective campaigns will take the form of press releases, posters, leaflets and adverts published in local literature and on our website. We will be consulting and working with both private and public stakeholders within the Falkland Islands to ensure that the aims of our campaign are understood. We look forward to sharing our work with the Falkland Islands public in the near future.

Roger Edwards

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