(Source: Washington Post)
Drones and airports are the water and oil of the aviation world. While there’s intense debate over how restrictive emerging drone rules should be, you’d be hard pressed to find someone not in favor of restricting the air space around airports. If a drone flew into a jet engine it might disable it, resulting in a deadly crash.
All of this makes the story behind the audience choice winner at the 2015 New York City Drone Film Festival so unusual, and a reminder of the world’s polarized views on drones’ safety and value. Last weekend, the honors went to “Mex Airport From Above,” which showcased the Mexico City airport.
The video was actually commissioned by the Mexican Aerospace Navigation Service, which is Mexico’s equivalent to the FAA, to show at its anniversary dinner for air traffic controllers. Its director wanted to show a video and air traffic controller Alexandro Ruiz de la Fuente suggested using a drone.
“We wanted to capture something completely different, something that would just break everything,” Ruiz de la Fuente said. “We know that back in the United States it’s not allowed.”
He didn’t expect the idea to be approved, but received permission to fly on two conditions: The affected aircraft pilots must agree to the drones’ presence, and he had to stay in contact with the control tower at all times.
Ruiz de la Fuente stressed that caution was used to ensure the safety of all passengers during the two days last September that drone operator Tarsicio Sanudo was brought in with a DJI F450 to shoot at the airport.
“Our job is to preserve life. We’re not going to do anything to jeopardize the operation,” Ruiz de la Fuente said. “It turned out wonderful. We’ve gotten rave reviews.”
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