Division member and human geographer Anna Jackman has recently returned from a short fellowship in Norway at The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).Anna was invited to PRIO as part of Bruno Oliveira Martins and team’s RegulAIR research project activities. In this short piece Anna discusses the project and her time spent at PRIO.

Over the last decade, the use of drones has increased dramatically, giving rise to a range of distinct security issues and challenges. As the project page details, ‘significant international, regional, and national efforts’ are thus underway to ensure the safe operation and integration of drones into civilian airspace. In response, the RegulAIR project ‘aims to provide new research-based knowledge to Norwegian and EU regulatory bodies to contribute to the safe integration of drones into civilian airspace’ by addressing ‘two essential contemporary challenges: (1) how to conceive security in the three-dimensional airspace, and (2) how to reconceptualize the new security problem-set emanating from emerging technologies’ (you can read more about the project here, and more on drones and security in the Norwegian context here).

It was fantastic to spend the week with Bruno Oliveira Martins and the wider RegulAIR team (which includes Kristin Bergtora SandvikChantal LavalléeArthur Holland MichelSamar Abbas Nawaz, and Lise Endregard Hemat). I learned more about how the fascinating project is unfolding and we reflected on how it fit with my own research in the context of the UK, we began developing a paper, we fed back on papers in progress, and – as an important culmination to the week – PRIO hosted the excellent ‘Drones in civilian airspaces: Security, regulation, and imagination‘ conference.

It was a pleasure to participate, both as a speaker delivering a paper on ‘diversifying imaginations of disruptive drones’, and as the chair for the ‘urban spaces’ panel. In my paper, I argued for a need to expand our focus on potential drone disruptions as we imagine drones. To do this, I spoke about diversifying the who (actors), what (encounters), and where (sights/sites) of drone disruptions, as they feature in, shape, and punctuate our imaginations of drones.

It was such a pleasure to join the folks at The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and to explore Oslo more broadly. Thank you for a wonderful (and very scenic) trip!