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Aviation Weekly #16 – Commercial UAV USA, Aero Clubs, Aviation Conference, UK Airfields
1. President Trump has signed a memo that directs the Department of Transport to create a plan to open the US skies to more commercial UAV traffic. Commercial drone operators are likely to welcome this step as it clears the way for research, expansion, and development.
The Federal Aviation Administration will, as always, be vigilant in maintaining air safety, so this expansion is likely to be slow and steady rather than a sudden burst.
The Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program will be used to accelerate the safe integration of UAS into the US airspace and to realize the benefits of unmanned technology to the North American economy.
“This program supports the President’s commitment to foster technological innovation that will be a catalyst for ideas that have the potential to change our day-to-day lives,” said Secretary Chao. “Drones are proving to be especially valuable in emergency situations, including assessing damage from natural disasters such as the recent hurricanes and the wildfires in California,” she added.
2. Parrot has introduced two new drones at the Commercial UAV Expo currently being held in Las Vegas.
The Bluegrass and the Bebop-Pro Thermal are designed with specific missions in mind. The Parrot Bluegrass is designed for farmers and other agriculture business people who want to collect and analyse data about their crops and potential yields.
A fully charged battery allows the Bluegrass to fly over 74 acres as it scans at a height of 230 ft.
Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is designed for builders, roofers, architects, and real estate agencies.
It’s fitted with both a conventional and a thermal camera allowing the operator to create videos and images of buildings and their heat loss.
Visit http://www.parrot.com for more information.
3. 1st Lt Andy Schloemer is currently flying F-15E Strike Eagles on his first operational tour with the 494th Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.
But his first flight experiences as pilot in command were in Cessna 172s at the Yokota Aero Club in Japan.
“The training I received at the Yokota Aero Club set me up for success in my private flying career, as well as my eventual military flying career,” Schloemer said.
From there he built on his experience by logging time in the T-6A Texan II and T-38C Talon before being selected to fly the F-15.
Lt. Schloemer’s story reminds us of the importance of aero clubs in germinating the seeds for the next crop of commercial and military pilots.
4. The Royal Aeronautical Society held a Future of UK Airfields conference in London on 24th October.
Britain’s airfields and aerodromes play vital roles in support of General Aviation (GA) activities, including flight training, light aircraft manufacture and maintenance and business aviation.
However, many are under threat while others have already been closed and swallowed up by housing developments.
In July of this year the UK Government published its draft Aviation Strategy entitled “Beyond the Horizon: The Future of UK Aviation”.
Among the many speakers at the conference was Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP who is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on GA, and a keen pilot.
The list of speakers included those representing the Department for Transport, Royal Aeronautical Society, GAAC, Light Aircraft Association, British Gliding Association, AOPA, and Swift Aircraft.
For more information about the results of the conference visit http://www.aerosociety.com.
That’s all for this edition of Aviation Weekly so subscribe to my channel for the next and to catch up on any you’ve missed.
This was a Redspan Solutions production.
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