Farm Industry News Blog

Drones, I mean UAVs, are on my mind

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Upcoming show, and info in the news, have many of us thinking about these new remote flyers.

Of course, the questions surrounding UAVs probably wouldn't be that intense if people would take better to operate them over big areas with permission. Recently someone flew a UAV over PNC Park during a Pirates-Mets game, which caught fan attention and was even seen on television.

According to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, authorities located the operator who brought the machine down quickly when requested. The challenge of UAVs is the worry over snooping and other privacy issues, and this kind of incident just raises more questions.

Of course everyone wants to get into the act, and that's creating a stir as well. In New York, realtors selling high-end properties have been using UAVs to get better images. The result, according to a New York Post report, is time in court since FAA notes that the remote-controlled devices can't be used for commercial purposes.

Realtors like UAVs for the same reasons some farmers do - they take stunning pictures of big buildings and other features. Those are of interest to buyers of high-end properties. However, FAA is arguing they can't be used by realtors because the machines aren't cleared for commercial use. The FAA has subpoenaed the records of at least one UAV company.

To wrap up, we in the media like UAVs because they offer us the potential of capturing images in new ways to better tell the story. CNN and Georgia Institute of Technology are teaming up to "better understand the opportunities unmanned aerial vehicles present for media organizations" according to a recent post.

The program will look at the tech and safety needs to operate effectively in national air space. CNN and Georgia Tech plan to share their research with FAA as the agency looks at ways to allow safe operation of UAVs by media outlets.

If you want to learn more about UAVs join us this week in Decatur where you can see them in the air - a first - and talk to the companies offering the systems as we all wait on the FAA.

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Jodie Wehrspann, Kathy Huting, Lynn Grooms, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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