The International Ski Federation announced that it will ban all camera drones from its World Cup races, after a drone crashed and nearly hit Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher. Herschel was skiing a slalom race in Italy when the drone filming his run crashed to the ground directly behind him on the slope, missing him by a very close margin.
International Ski Federation racing director Markus Waldner apologized for the incident at an AP Press conference, and said that there would be no use of drones in Italy in the future.
“The use of drones at great events in Austria and Switzerland is forbidden. But it is allowed in Italy,” he said. “That’s why we agreed with [broadcasters] … that drones are not to fly above the raceway, but only above a corridor besides the spectators. I am sorry…What happened is a total mess and there will be consequences. Drones won’t be used in the future.”
He added that drones would be banned for “as long as I am responsible …. because they are a bad thing for safety.”
Hirscher recovered from the incident to take the overall World Cup lead, despite finishing 1.25 seconds behind Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen in the race.
The company responsible for the camera drone, sports marketing agency Infront, says in a statement that “the circumstances leading to (the crash) are currently being examined.”
Drones have been banned at many ski resorts in the US, with the exception of certain designated “Drone Zones” allowed at some areas, while commercial drone video service Cape has contracted with many resorts to provide professional drone footage of runs.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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