The ISO has announced a set of international standards covering quality, safety, security and etiquette for the operation of commercial drones.

The standards have been produced by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) after a year-long consultation with drone operators, academics and businesses.

The ISO said the standards, which are the first in a series to be published will help shape future regulation and legislation for commercial drone operation. Other emerging standards are due to address general specifications, product manufacturing and maintenance, unmanned traffic management (UTM) and testing procedures.

The product manufacturing standards for drones are due to be published next year.

The standards’ “etiquette” for drone use reinforces compliance towards no-fly zones, local regulation, flight log protocols, maintenance, training and flight planning documentation.

The recently-published standards also demand that operators must have appropriate systems to handle data alongside communications and control planning when flying with all hardware and software of operating equipment kept up to date. In addition, fail-safe human intervention is required for all drone flights, including autonomous operations to ensure that drone operators are held accountable.

Robert Garbett, convenor of the ISO Working Group responsible for global air drone operational standards said, “I am delighted that the operating standards for air drones have now been approved and published following four years of collaboration involving ISO and other national standards bodies from all over the world, reinforced through expert input from a wide range of industry and public sector stakeholders.

The standards will deliver a new confidence among investors in the safety, security and compliance of commercial drone operations, which together with the product manufacture and maintenance standards, is expected in turn to facilitate a massive expansion in the availability and use of drone technology in the years to come.

Drones are offering an unprecedented economic opportunity for those businesses and countries with the foresight to embrace this technology. My own conversations with government, businesses and other stakeholders have shown that the new standards will be enthusiastically welcomed and will empower organizations to discover how they can use drone technology to enhance their competitive position, adding value and creating growth and jobs.”

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