It’s a given that drones (aka unmanned aerial vehicles or systems) will continue to skyrocket as a major emerging tech sector. The commercial drone sector is expected to soar into an $89-billion-dollar industry over the next decade, producing millions of new jobs.
As with any disruptive technology, weekly media reports are chocked full of drone-related controversies, breakthroughs and startup news.
Piping Up About Drone Journalism
The FAA has granted permission to a licensed drone journalist to fly his drone within a limited area over the Standing Rock protest site for reporting purposes just days after refusing authorization just hours before. On Nov. 29 the FAA had issued a Temporary Flight Restriction(TFR) over the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest ( #NoDAPL ), prohibiting any aircraft other than law enforcement from flying over the site for a 4-nautical mile radius. “Largely, a TFR should not be issued if the purpose or effect is to infringe upon the 1st Amendment. This is a terrible precedent,” said Peter Sachs in Drone Law Journal
Industry to Trump: Drones Are a Bigly Deal
The Drone Manufacturer’s Alliance (DMA) an advocacy group of leading drone makers founded by #DJI, Parrot, 3DR, and #GoPro, has published a letter to President-elect Trump praising his nomination of Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary and asking Trump to support the drone industry.
- #AntiDrone – British startup SkyWall helped protect President Obama from potential UAV threats during a recent visit to Germany this past month.
- #DroneSensors – Companies like Gryphon Sensors are leading the way in developing sensor systems that detect, track and identify small drones, ensuring that pilots keep their unmanned aircraft “between the lines” and away from unauthorized airspace.
- #DronesForGood – The Swiss Society for Rescue Dogs announced a partnership with the Swiss Association of Civilian Drones to deploy thermal-imaging drones that will supplement the group’s search-and-rescue missions over unforgiving, mountainous terrain.
- #DroneStartups – FLIR Systems announced Wednesday the $134 million acquisition of Prox Dynamics AS, a Norwegian-based developer and manufacturer of nano-class drones used by military and para-military intelligence for surveillance and reconnaissance.