Managing the Risks of Unmanned Aircraft Operations in Development Projects

The global market for unmanned aircrafts (UA) has grown exponentially in the past decade; capabilities that were unachievable only three to four years ago are now possible using unmanned aerial technology. Future applications are numerous and include emergency services, agriculture, security, and a wide range of data capture and infrastructure inspection activities in the fields of construction, utilities, energy, insurance, and renewables.

Managing the risks of unmanned aircraft operations in development projects is a guidance note for how to apply unmanned aerial technologies within development operations. UA offer a new way to perform tasks that previously required the use of conventional aircraft and/or a person working in dull, dirty, or dangerous situations. Humanitarian and conservation applications have also increased and future markets will be driven by the need to manage the earth’s scarce resources, from urban development to natural resources and disasters, to energy and people. As industry changes its appetite for the utilisation of UA technology, it has to adapt to new operational challenges and risks.

This guidance note acknowledges and complements previous work published in 2016 by the World Bank Group, “UAV State-of-Play for Development,” which was intended as a brief overview of how unmanned aerial systems (UAS) work. It also provided ways UA can be put to work to further humanitarian goals, a review of UA field use case studies, and an overview of the core components of the UA system.

It is hoped that this guidance note will provide a basis for future discussion of UA in WBG operations. Further work on topics such as data policy, differential analysis of costs, and task team operational manuals, among others, would be a welcome and vital addition in enabling the WBG to explore the full potential of this emergent technology for the achievement of its strategic goals.

Cette note d’orientation est disponible en français: Gérer les risques des opérations aériennes sans pilotes dans les projets de développement.

Technologie des systèmes aériens sans pilotes