College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

UAS could save farmers millions, study finds

farm droneMost farmers are not able to legally fly UAS and will have to wait for the Federal Aviation Administration to finish developing rules to allow the technology to be used regularly for business, while maintaining certain safety and privacy standards.

An FAA proposal this year would allow flying UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds, stay within the operator’s sight and fly during the daytime, among other restrictions.

Christina Bloebaum, a professor of aerospace engineering at Iowa State University, said the FAA is showing more willingness to embrace UAS, such as providing exemptions more quickly for some users.

“I think the (FAA) is already starting to take steps that will allow farmers to do some of these things on their own property, and they just have to because there are just too many opportunities,” Bloebaum said. “I don’t think anyone is getting ahead of themselves. I think this really is a technology that is going to be a huge game-changer for agriculture.”

For the original Des Moines Register story, click here.