from Biz Journals
Drones, drones, drones. The technology-turned-political issue brought a “wide range of people” to downtown Raleigh Monday – people with conflicting opinions on how the unmanned aircraft should be regulated in North Carolina.
That’s according to Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Republican from Henderson County and the chair of a house judiciary committee who, just last week, assigned a subcommittee to iron out the kinks in the proposal before it reaches the full house floor.
Yesterday was the public hearing, and McGrady, as well has his colleagues, heard varied constituent opinion.
“Clearly, drones, unmanned aircraft, have great potential for good things, but then there’s concerns, particularly regarding privacy issues,” he says.
And that’s the rub, and what attracted people from the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as drone enthusiasts to the hearing.
“What we’re trying to do is find a middle course that protects people’s privacy, but would allow the use of drones in some sets of circumstances,” he says, adding that the intent is to make North Carolina “a place where drone technology could be developed.”
Specifically, disaster relief, agricultural and land surveying applications of the technology are priorities.
But North Carolina isn’t the only entity with its eyes on unmanned skies. The Federal Aviation Authority, too, is working on its own set of regulations, expected by the end of the year. Currently, the FAA allows drone flights only under a set of specific circumstances. Commercial use of drones, as well as unauthorized drone research, is forbidden. But that’s expected to change when the FAA comes up with its regulations.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com