Connecting the campus to the community
Apr. 20, 2017
Unmanned Aerial Systems Near You
Drones (also known as unmanned aerial systems) are increasing in popularity for recreational use and commercial use, and that trend is expected to continue for the next several years. According to a new Tractica report, consumer drone sales are set to increase tenfold by the end of the decade. In 2015, some 6.4 million devices were shipped and this number is forecasted to climb to a 67.9 million drones annually by 2021.
The impact of commercial and military use will be nothing short of amazing. According to a 2013 report by the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International), this is slated to be one of the fastest growing industries in American history. The prediction is the creation of some 100,000 new jobs within the next ten years.
There will be many career opportunities with advanced drone training including military drone pilot, firefighter, disaster relief, search and rescue, law enforcement, oil and gas operations, seismic study, border patrol, traffic reporting, storm chasing, agriculture, package delivery, forestry, engineering, computer science, commercial contractors, film and others yet to be envisioned. I even joked with a friend that he might be able to use them to track down cattle when he and the other cowboys are trying to move them from the high country for the winter.
Of course, all of this growth will likely come with increased complaints and violations of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules. For the recreational user, it is important to understand and abide by these rules. All persons with a drone that weighs more than half a pound are required to register their devise with the FAA. In addition, users should be at least 13 years old and abide by the safety guidelines, which include the following:
- Fly at or below 400 feet
- Keep your UAS within sight
- Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
- Never fly over groups of people
- Never fly over stadiums or sports events
- Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
- Never fly under the influence
- Be aware of airspace requirements
With a little common sense and courtesy, drones can be operated enjoyably and reduce the risk of having your neighbor shoot it out of the sky.
To find out more about drone courses available through MSUB Extended Campus, please see http://www.msubillings.edu/extendedcampus/.