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COMMENT Leighton Chenery DRONES IN THE BROADCAST INDUSTRY There is little doubt that the emerging technology of Drones within the Broadcast industry is most likely to have insurance implications. As the market continues to expand and organisations enhance their activities through the use of Drones, adequate insurance coverage will be of particular importance to protect against the more complex and high value risks. Whilst insurance solutions have been developed to meet the needs of manufacturers, distributors and operators, the diversity of potential applications means significant further insight is required to sufficiently manage the risk exposure. This piece identifies the key areas that will influence the availability and pricing of future insurance solutions. Potential exposures Statistics on incidents involving Drones are sparse and the absence of historical data impairs the ability of insurers to accurately assess potential exposures. Human Error is a key safety consideration with the possibility of negligent or reckless operators causing particular concern. Evidence of safe operational procedures and mandatory licensing of operators with training and certification schemes will enhance insurer’s ability to assess the competence of those pilots with permission to use Drones commercially. The integration of Drones into busy airspace will most likely require further technology enhancements in order to reduce the threat of collisions with reports of ‘near miss’ events beginning to appear. Whilst regulation within the industry is developing, it remains inconsistent with no harmonisation of international standards and little clarity on third-party liability. The rapid growth of Drone usage undoubtedly presents a significant challenge to those seeking to install a robust framework for a regulatory system that relies heavily on responsible behaviour and 46 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 108 DECEMBER 2015 is difficult to monitor. Tracking and monitoring technology could provide means to gather evidence of non-compliance and ‘Geo-fencing’ technology could reduce the risk of straying into controlled airspace. An assessment of operator’s competency will be required and licensing initiatives have already sprung up, which is a positive development for quantifying and managing this area of uncertainty. Increasing threats Public Liability insurance will be especially prominent as Drones interact with a greater range and value of third party interests. Whilst incidents, such as the Australian triathlete sustaining minor injuries after a Drone fell from the sky, have been relatively small and infrequent. As the commercialisation and development of this technology continues larger damages are an increasing threat. For example, the substantial damages and legal fees will emerge if a Drone collides with a commercial passenger aircraft, causing it to crash. Insurers have recognised this fact and more and more standard exclusions, relating to the use of Drones, apply in policy wordings as a result.