Just as the United Arab Emirates announced moves to regulate the use of drones, a prime example of why many individuals and leaders are concerned hovered over Paris last night.
Authorities in France reported that at least five drones were spotted surveying key tourist landmarks around Paris overnight. A hunt has begun for the culprits behind the unusual incident, which some have feared may be related to terrorist activity.
In recent months, France has seen an unprecedented influx in drones hovering around sites perceived as potential key targets, such as the presidential palace and nuclear facilities. However, the authorities have been very clear that as of now, it does not appear that the drones present any real threat.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, the first drone was spotted around midnight last night near the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Between then and around 6 a.m., more drones were spotted hovering around the Eiffel Tower, Bastille Square, Invalides Military Museum and the Place de la Concorde.
A spokesman for the Paris prosecutor, who asked the police to open a full investigation, said that flying drones was illegal in urban areas. Another source told the Daily Mail that, "there have never been so many drones appearing in one night."
Meanwhile, as Paris scratches its head and tries to figure out the mystery, the UAE plans not only to put forward new regulations regarding drones but also find ways to utilize them in positive ways .
Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, recently said, “We will look at the government services that can be delivered through the drones. At the same time, the other commercial part such as drones with cameras. This all will be regulated, because we don’t want to jeopardise the safety of people."
Although there are benefits that drones can provide from serving as wait-staff in restaurants to delivering packages, a lot of problems can also arise as the UAE has already seen. Just last month, flight were delayed for more than an hour at Dubai's airport due to individuals flying drones in the vicinity. Some flights were also diverted.
As for France's recent drone issue, it is not clear if it is related to terrorism or perhaps just some locals or tourists having some fun.
It will be interesting to see how this new technology continues to develop and integrate into daily life.