While excitement continues to brew over drone technology in agriculture (by some accounts, it will be worth more than $4 billion by 2022), safety and legality remain priorities for those involved.
In the U.S., that is apparent through a robust campaign called “Know Before You Fly.” It advocates responsible practices and spells out acceptable uses for recreational and business purposes.
Additionally, the FAA is offering a “digital toolkit” that includes “No Drone Zone” signage to reinforce that flying in certain areas is prohibited.
A similar effort is happening in Canada, where a brand-new safety campaign launched earlier in June 2016 has the Canadian government reminding citizens of its proposed drone regulations and is also encouraging airports, parks, municipalities and event organizers to post “No Drone Zone” signs around areas where it is unsafe or illegal to fly them.
“While Transport Canada is working on new regulations to integrate drones into Canadian airspace, I urge all users to learn how to fly safely and legally,” according to Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport. “As a responsible drone user, think twice about where you fly, stay away from airports and aircraft, and know that there are serious consequences to unsafe use. The “No Drone Zone” signs are a reminder that not all places are appropriate to fly a drone – always think safety first.”
Safety is no mere suggestion in the U.S. or Canada – improper use can have dire economic consequences. In Canada, reckless or negligent flights could result in a $25,000 fine and jail time. In the U.S., the FAA says it will assess “civil penalties of up to $27,500” for failure to register a drone, and criminal sanctions of up to $250,000 and jail time for reckless flying.
Do you think drones can safely be integrated into national air space? Add a comment and continue the conversation. Get all of AgWeb’s award-winning drone coverage at www.FarmWithDrones.com.