LYNDON – Drones were flying through the Lyndonville sky this past weekend because of a visit from Vermont Drones. The public had a chance to get up close with a drone and learn all about the advancing technology.
Vermont Drones, based out of Burlington, was invited to give an informational demonstration on drones to the public over the weekend. Steve Mermelstein from Vermont Drones uses drones to capture aerial video and photography. He believes drones are helpful tools for the public.
“There is so much drones can do for the public good, such as helping search and rescue teams and surveying work,” says Mermelstein. “We want to help educate and inform people of the responsibilities and rules that come with operating a model aircraft.”
The recent controversy over drone regulations in Vermont and the idea of spy cameras on drones has some of the public uneasy. However, the workshop seemed to help ease tensions of some attendees.
“It’s groups like this that are going to bring it to the masses in a very responsible way,” says attendee Donald Prince. “It make us feel safe.”
Drone technology is growing on a weekly basis, and popularity for these technological gadgets is skyrocketing along with it. The Consumer Electronics Association predicts that over 700,000 drones will be sold over this coming holiday season.
This statistic has the Federal Aviation Association worried about air traffic issues. FAA is looking to require every drone to be registered as an aircraft, so pilots will not have to worry. As of now, pilots report drones near their aircraft over 100 times a month to the FAA, which is a safety issue to the passengers of the plane.
Under S.18, a new Vermont law dealing with privacy, police officers would need a warrant to use a drone, and every drone would have to be registered as an aircraft. In addition, drones may not be flown anywhere five miles from an airport.
If any Vermont residents own a drone, and wish to check if it is okay to fly in an area, please refer to VTDrone.com, which will show which towns across the state have airports.