KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday October 28, 2016 – Jamaica’s police officers will have to wait just a little bit longer before they get the go-ahead to use drone technology in their fight against crime.
That’s because despite $55 million being allocated in the budget of the Ministry of National Security to acquire drone technology, the proper framework required to facilitate their use has not yet been drafted.
Diane McIntosh, permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, told Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday that the ministry would not spend the $55 million that was allocated this year to acquire drone technology.
She said that $30 million of the amount allocated would be spent by the end of the financial year.
However, project manager at the ministry L. Garth Soares, pointed out that the framework needed to facilitate the use of drones by the security forces was just now emerging in Jamaica.
“In discussion with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), they are still trying to develop policy and regulation that govern these unmanned aerial vehicles. They are still trying to develop the regulations to govern how these aircraft are used,” Soares told members of the PAAC.
“We are now joining the wider community to use these aircraft for public safety and for law-enforcement activities,” he added.
Under the current arrangement, drone operators are required to apply for special aerial work permits from the CAA on the basis that they meet specific standards.