The humanitarian mine action (HMA) community’s nascent adoption of commercial drone technology has no doubt made a positive impact within the sector. However, drones go underutilized in HMA and many opportunities as well as potential pitfalls remain. Nurturing and developing this technology to assist in an increasingly diverse and evolving industry will benefit the community greatly. However, drones have only recently drawn the public eye with considerable strides forward in developing technology that is now available and financially accessible to the general public. Popular commercial brands are appealing more to the budding photographers and video bloggers that are able to achieve a professional angle in photographs or videos. This article reviews the opportunities and associated challenges that drones present to the HMA sector before presenting a case study of drones used to support mine clearance in Sri Lanka to clear the densely-laid Muhamalai minefield. It concludes with recommendations for the implementation of drones in other HMA programs.



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