NCDOT Sees Big Turnout for Public Safety UAS Workshop


A capacity crowd of more than 150 police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders was on hand on Jan. 24 for a free unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) workshop hosted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Division of Aviation.

The division’s UAS Program Office designed the workshop for public safety agencies that have already, or would like to soon, incorporate drones into their operations. It was held at the Gaston County Citizens Resource Center in Dallas.

The program included scenario-based live flight demonstrations, such as a hostage situation and missing person, as well as a panel discussion of current regulations and presentations from agencies that have already been using drones.

“Drones are another tool that public safety agencies can have in their tool belt to help make their operations safer and more efficient,” says Basil Yap, UAS program manager for NCDOT. “Attendees of our workshop should now have a better understanding of the possible applications for drone technology and what it takes to effectively implement drones into their operations.”

This was the fifth UAS workshop NCDOT has hosted across the state since 2017 and the first of the new year. The next one will take place over two days in Nags Head in April.

NCDOT says it uses these free workshops to show how safe UAS can be and to encourage businesses and government entities to explore how the technology can be beneficial to their operations.

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