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2015-12-27. By Kelly.
Fig. 1. Drone crashed during World Cup skiing competition just missing Marcel Hirscher on December 22, 2015 (from www.telegraph.co.uk). Video link to BBC video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYFdh1w_n6M
Drones were the topic of our family discussion as we gathered for the holidays. In particular the discussion about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calling for all drones to now be registered. On December 21, 2015, the FAA required the registration of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). This includes drones that weigh more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Registration will be free for the first thirty days and a five dollar fee will be charged after that time. People who have had drones operating prior to this registration process will be given until February 2016 to register.
Owners can register online at http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/
On the registration site the FAA has also posted rules to remember when operating your drone which includes:
Since the registration process has opened over 45,000 drones have already been registered. The number of drones made me think about the ways drones are currently being used. Drones are used to capture footage for sporting events. Conservationists have used drones to keep elephant populations away from villages. The military have used drones for weapon delivery systems and for an eye in the sky coverage of troops. Amazon is currently planning to use a drone deliveries system. However my personal favourites are the drones that are built by the maker community. These drones have ranged in shape, size and maneuverability.
Drone use has incredible potential and sometime we have no idea how invasive they can be. Forest fires have attracted a number of drone operators allowing them to follow the path of the fire's destructive force. However, drone coverage of forest fire have also made it unsafe for fire fighters. In some cases stopping fire fighting aircrafts from doing their jobs because it was unsafe with the drones present. Drones are an incredible piece of technology. They allow us to observe natural events and happenings. We need to take careful consideration about how our drone activities can impact others.
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