Category Archives: Drones

FAA loosens restrictions on some drones flying near airports

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Commercial drone operators are about to feel a little less caged. The FAA is expected to loosen restrictions on where some drone operators can fly them, near Colorado airports.

It’s called Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability.

“LAANC is a new system from the FAA that allows commercial pilots to get instant airspace authorization with flying in restricted areas,” said Kerry Garrison, Chief Operating Officer of DJI Colorado.

Right now, drones can’t fly within five miles of any airport without authorization but Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability allows remote pilots like Garrison to access that airspace in real time.

“In the past, we had to apply for waivers or authorizations that could talk three or four months,” Garrison said. “So a process that would take literally months and months of time is now going to be done in a matter of seconds.”

He said a lot of professionals like roof inspectors and realtors will be able to fly drones in places they can’t now.

But 9NEWS aviation expert Greg Feith said there are a few drawbacks.

“Now that these restrictions have changed some people are going to take advantage of it,” Feith said.

He said pilots worry about drone operators that aren’t trained.

“Fixed wing and helicopter pilots that are actually flying large manned aircraft are really going to have to be more attuned and aware of the environment now that there are going to be drones within five miles operating within the national airspace system,” Feith said.

Drones can fly up to 400 feet above ground within that airspace but only with authorization – and that number gets lower are you near the actual airport.

“It’s very strictly defined how high we can fly anywhere near the airport,” Garrison said. “Hobbyists don’t understand the rules.”

That is why a lot of drones have built-in systems that don’t allow them to fly into restricted areas without permission.

“They’re go fenced,” Garrison said. “It won’t even let you take off if you’re too close to an airport.”

Now, Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability will allow pilots to access that in real time.

“As everyone learns what this process is, what this program is and how it benefits both manned and unmanned,” Garrison said. “I think everyone is going to see this is a win, win for everybody.”

The looser restrictions apply only to commercial drone operators who are authorized by the new system.

It’s expected to take effect here on May 24 and will cover about 500 airports by September.

© 2018 KUSA

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Major Energy Drone Expo Grows Advisory Board

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A major energy-sector drone group is adding to its numbers with a duo of UAV leaders to a major event advisory board.

The Energy Drone Coalition Summit & Expo, billed as “the biggest event exclusively focused on the business and technology of UAVs/Robotics (aerial, ground/surface and subsea) in energy operations” has appointed Matt Dunlevy, President and CEO of SkySkopes, and Eileen Lockhart, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Manager, Xcel Energy. The pair will join the 2018 Summit on June 20-21 in Houston.

“I am thrilled to see the pioneering work being done by the Energy Drone Coalition and am honored to accept a role on the advisory board,” Dunlevy said.

He added:

“At SkySkopes, we believe that the energy sector is the industry with the most mature use cases for UAS, though there is still significant work that needs to be done, and the EDC is a fantastic step in the correct direction. I look forward to working with other nationally recognized UAS leaders in order to innovate new solutions for utilities, oil and gas companies, and others.”

In addition to Dunlevy and Lockhart, the board includes:

  • Suzanne Lemieux, UAS Lead and Manager, API
  • George C. Williamson, SETA, Inspection, Testing and Commissioning Materials Team, BP America Inc., Upstream Engineering Centre
  • Pierce Prater, Service Consultant Supervisor, Power Delivery Solutions, CenterPoint Energy
  • Landon Phillips, Chief Operating Officer, DataWing Global
  • Christopher Korody, Founder,
  • Jacob Velky, Manager, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Duke Energy
  • Brian Williams, UAS Coordinator, Duke Energy
  • Tony Cinson, Senior Technical Leader – NDE Innovation, EPRI – Electric Power Research Institute
  • Travis Moran, Strategic Partner, Gryphon Sensors
  • Lisa Ellman, Partner, Hogan Lovells
  • Jason Forte, Commercial Solutions, Insitu, Inc.
  • Todd Chase, Global Unmanned Systems Program Manager, Oceaneering
  • Diana Marina Cooper, VP of Legal and Policy Affairs, PrecisionHawk
  • Hector Ubinas, UAS Program Lead/Aviation Safety Advisor, San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Josh Olds, Vice President of Operations, Unmanned Safety Institute / Argus Unmanned
  • Mitch Droz, MBA, Co-Owner, VP of Operations and Customer Experience, Wolf UAS, LLC
  • Steven Poirot, Operations & Safety Director, Aerial Data Management, WorleyParsons

“Xcel Energy’s accomplishments with UAS are the result of exceptional partnerships within the public and private sectors,” Eileen Lockhart, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Manager, Xcel Energy, said. “I am honored to serve with an impressive group of professionals on the Energy Drone Coalition Board and look forward to contributing to the mission of facilitating opportunities for innovation and collaboration needed for the next chapter of UAS.”

Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.

Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content. He has won several media awards over the years and has since expanded his expertise into the organizational and educational communications sphere.

In addition to his proficiency in the field of editing and writing, Jason has also taught communications at the university level and continues to lead seminars and training sessions in the areas of media relations, editing/writing and social media engagement.

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Could Drones Help Feed The Hungry?

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, Anna Tobin is a media, technology and lifestyle journalist Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
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Massimo Bottura is one of the world’s greatest chefs. His Milan restaurant Osteria Francescana has three Michelin stars and was named the world’s best restaurant in 2016 at the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards and the second best in 2017. Bottura, however, has even bigger fish to fry. 


Massimo Bottura is on a crusade to end global hunger

He has made it his mission to put an end to global hunger and he believes that technology, combined with the drive of the human spirit, can make this a reality. In order to end the plight of the malnourished and the starving, however, Bottura believes that we need to rethink how we use technology in the kitchen.

‘The refrigerator and freezer revolutionised how we use food. They have ensured that our food can stay fresh for much longer, but they have also made the visible, invisible.’ he explains. ‘With everything hidden away in the fridge and freezer you are less aware of the food that you have and so it is easier to let it go to waste. Increasing the supply of food is not what is needed to combat world hunger. What we need to do is stop wasting it.’

Bottura set up the non-profit organisation Food for Soul to help communities around the world to put an end to food waste and to solve the equation that sees one third of the world’s food being thrown into the trash while 800 million people living on this planet are malnourished.

The Kitchens at Refettorio, Paris, Credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

Food for Soul has set up community kitchens in several cities around the world. At these Refettorios, as they are known, renowned chefs are invited to cook delicious and healthy meals for needy guests using surplus ingredients. Bottura believes that technology will help him to feed the hungry on a much larger scale, however.

In the future, I would like to see refrigerators everywhere that local chefs can fill with their leftovers. You could then give access codes to these refrigerators to the poor so that they can feed themselves and their families good quality, nutritious food,’ he says.

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