Drones:  Nightmare in the Air or Cool Technology?
       Tammy Chatman
        - Flight for Life - McHenry Base
The first consumer drone or unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV), was introduced in 2010. Since then drones have become more popular each year & their potential uses & benefits have also blossomed. Prices have dropped dramatically over the past several years, worldwide sales topped one million in 2014 & should reach one million sold in the U.S. in 2015. This has & will continue to create safety & privacy issues as the FAA grapples with the development of rules & regulations for the commercial operators & struggles with what to do with the recreational or hobbyist user. While the FAA works thru the rule making process for commercial drone operators, the recreational user is wreaking havoc with aircraft & the pilots who fly them, first responders, & air medical helicopters. While there are many safe & responsible drone operators, the safety of the flying public, firefighters, law enforcement, air medical crews & their patients are put at risk thanks to those reckless & irresponsible operators who are either unaware of or completely disregard the operational rules for the sake of fun, photos & video. What are the current rules for operation of drones in the national airspace? How do they pose a risk to safety & privacy for those in the air & on the ground? What is the role of dispatch in dealing with the presence of uninvited drones at scenes, during disasters, searches, & law enforcement incidents? This session will help to clarify these questions.
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