Monday, July 21, 2014

Idaho the Perfect Place for Drones?

A news report suggests that drones will soon be heavily used in Idaho for agricultural purposes:

Idaho Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer hopes to pull together state, industry and university resources to create an office organizing drone research for commercial partners. The state doesn't have much money to commit to the "center of excellence," as Sayer calls it. But he says a bare-bones budget fronted mostly by industry money could make Idaho a destination for drone manufacturing or research for whatever industries take interest.

Such an office might attract companies in what Delparte says will soon be a "billion-dollar" UAV-making industry, stimulating research money for universities, she says.

(See "Drones: The coming aerial assault on Idaho farms" by Zach Kyle in the Idaho Statesman, July 15, 2014.)

Idaho, with substantial public lands and several military bases that have been approved for drone basing, is likely to see a growing number of drones in its skies soon.

For now, there is some restriction on how drones can be used in Iowa: "A new Idaho law that went into effect in July prohibits the use of drones for surveillance without the subject's written permission or without a warrant." (See "Idaho's new law has little effect on drone use" by John Sowell in the Idaho Statesman, September 20, 2013.)