Gov. Bentley: Drone use in AL must be addressed - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Gov. Bentley: Drone use in AL must be addressed

Gov. Bentley said adjustments to federal drone usage rules are under consideration. (Source: WAFF) Gov. Bentley said adjustments to federal drone usage rules are under consideration. (Source: WAFF)
A drone overlooks road construction at Old Madison Pike (Source: Todd F./YouTube) A drone overlooks road construction at Old Madison Pike (Source: Todd F./YouTube)
MERIDIANVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley declared the proliferation of drones around Alabama to be an opportunity hovering -no pun intended- just over the horizon. 

“We know that many people in agriculture use them,” Bentley said. “They use them for crops. They judge the way crops are growing. So, you know, they can also look for wildlife.”

It was with the increasing popularity of drones in mind that Bentley appointed his state Drone Task Force to consider the implications of the newest unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV, technology.

For a few thousand dollars in some cases, hobbyists or entrepreneurs can launch a little quad copter with a GoPro camera and become aerial photographers.

“I think they're going to be used more. And I think we're just have to make sure they're used correctly,” Bentley said.

Reflecting the broad implications of drones, Bentley's task force includes state Transportation Director John Cooper, Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Gunter Guy, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier and Montgomery Airport Authority Board Member Jimmy Reynolds. Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillian will serve as the task force's chairman.

Bentley acknowledged the task force will have to strike balance with federal regulations which are still evolving. Technically federal aviation regulators ban commercial use of drones, but that ban is frequently ignored and adjustments in federal rules are under consideration. “Obviously we'll be dealing with whatever the law is federally,” Bentley said.

The Task Force is scheduled to meet for the first time Friday, August 29.

It's expected to come up with some recommendations, possibly new drone legislation, by January.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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