So you’re interested in purchasing and deploying an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) or Vehicle (UAV).
Now that technology has advanced to a point over the last couple of years, if you carefully select a system or vendor, you can get an effective set-up that’s mission-ready, reliable, robust, and easy to use.
Keep in mind, the UAV is just one small part. You need good, well paired communications and data link systems…plus, you need to have flight training to fly it safely and effectively. Think of the UAV and UAS like a computer on steroids with wings and razor-sharp eyes.
The whole thing sounds daunting and scary to most. Don’t worry, we’ve been there. We’ll talk you through it.
From Crime Scene Mapping and photography to accident sites, search and rescue, surveillance, disaster control, drug operations and more are well within your reach. Anything that was too dull, dangerous or dirty to send officers in harm’s way can now be done by UAV’s or drones.
We have been researching and flying drones for a few years now. And we realize that “drone vendors” are climbing out of the woodwork. They may not fully understand the nature of law enforcement…and many of these new start-ups may run out of funding from investors, only to go out of business. We have a pretty good idea of law enforcement’s needs…and we aren’t going anywhere. (Plus we’ve got the industry’s best experts at our fingertips.)
Rules? Gotta’ have them. In the US, we have a governing body that dictates and recommends safe and legal use.
Things are always changing, but here are some of the basic rules on Unmanned Craft currently in place:
Stay below 400 feet
Must have visual contact with the UAV at all times
Must weigh 55 pounds or less
A COA is required (Certificate of Authorization) to perform missions
Do not fly within 5 miles of an airport
Give right of way to larger full scale aircraft
Other notes of importance: Currently, the FAA has authorized 6 UAV test sites to conduct small research operations anywhere in the U.S. as long as they stay below 200’. (This is a possible resource for you before you dive in and buy a UAV. Test sites are located in Texas, Alaska, New York, North Dakota, Virginia and Nevada.)
The FAA is currently proposing to relax requirements for “micro-drones” or UAV’s that weigh less than 4.4 pounds.
It is just our opinion, but we feel that the FAA will make exceptions in the near future for law enforcement use…and still maintain necessary regulation for hobbyist or commercial use. Stay tuned for developments that will help get us into “unrestricted” territory.
Long story short, we are keeping tabs on everything to meet Federal Aviation Requirements for you. This is an ever changing technology and proposals and rules change almost weekly. Give us a call to chat about concerns, questions or drone options best suited for your department.
Simply put, we want to help you see what you have been missing!