Fairfax County Plans Public Safety UAS Program

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Fairfax County, Va., is drafting a new program on the deployment of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for public safety purposes.

In an announcement issued today, the county says it is seeking input from residents on the proposed program. To do so, it is hosting six public information meetings throughout the county this month.

Each meeting will include a display of drones and a presentation outlining the program. There will be an opportunity to ask questions from representatives of the Office of Emergency Management, County Attorney’s Office, and Police and Fire & Rescue Departments. Feedback can also be sent to uas@fairfaxcounty.gov or through the county’s informational site on the UAS program.

According to a draft of the program, the county would deploy UAS for situations such as search and rescue, flooding assessment, pre- and post-disaster damage assessment, crash reconstruction, fire incident/scene management and investigation, hazardous materials response, and wildlife estimation.

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Brett Hoffstadt

Awesome to see this proactive and transparent effort in public engagement and input! Exactly how it should be done. I went to their website page and it is fantastic in that regard. Every public safety department or municipality who wants to adopt drones (or maybe has started that effort quietly) should pay attention here and follow this great example. NOT taking this approach will lead to inevitable public skepticism, resistance, and backlash. Thanks for publishing this article as a valuable “good news” story about drones! Brett Hoffstadt, VP Drone Pilots Federation, author of “Success with Drones in Civil Engineering”