Thursday, March 5, 2015

Just in

Proposed drone rules a good first step 

Washington—The Federal Aviation Administration’s recent proposal on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, are a good start to a long-overdue discussion on the use of the technology, according to Farm Bureau.

Farmers and ranchers are optimistic the final rules will allow them to use drones as part of the precision agriculture systems that have helped them grow more while protecting natural resources.

“Unmanned aircraft systems could be an incredible tool for farmers and ranchers, who can use them to scout their fields and ensure they’re using inputs like fertilizer and water only on the areas that need treatment,” explained RJ Karney, American Farm Bureau Federation technology specialist. “Farmers will adopt this technology as yet another way to live up to their promise of continuous improvement in food production.”

The draft rules would require unmanned aircraft operators an unmanned aircraft system operator certificate, stay away from bystanders and fly only during the day. They limit flying speed to 100 miles per hour and the altitude to 500 feet above ground level. In addition, the aircraft can be no more than 55 pounds and it must remain within the visual line of sight of the operator.

Farm Bureau continues to review the rule and will submit comments before the public comment period closes on April 24. 

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