- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas is exploring how it fits in the new world of drones as residents try to figure out how they can use the technology.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (https://bit.ly/1GfuggV ) reports the Kansas Department of Transportation is considering agriculture, emergency management and law enforcement as areas where drones can be used. State agencies have scheduled meetings in Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita and Topeka to discuss the ideas, as well as concerns about privacy.

Billy Brown, and agribusiness developer coordinator for the Kansas Department of Agriculture, said in a news release that people have been calling the department with questions about drones and obstacles that have stopped them from using the technology.

“Research efforts by KDA recognize that inherent obstacles exist, regulatory and otherwise, that are preventing further beneficial use of UAS in agricultural production systems,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is currently writing regulation rules for the use of drones. Most commercial uses of drones are illegal. Many people have started using drones as a hobby, or for photography.

“It’s not just a question that Kansas is answering,” said Jesse Romo, who is the aviation division director for the department. “We’re all in the ‘wait and see’ mentality, waiting for the FAA.”

Romo believes that allowing drone usage could lead to economic benefits for the state.

“It’s prudent for us to be on the leading edge of this budding industry, to understand the needs of industry, and to try and figure out how we safely and efficiently get from here to there,” he said.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com



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