The Kansas Department of Transportation (DOT) is beginning a series of roundtable discussions on the use of drones by public and private interest groups in the state.
Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for agricultural purposes will be the first topic of discussion, scheduled for March 11 at the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) headquarters.
“We continue to field inquiries about the use of UAS, or drones, in production agriculture,” says Billy Brown, agribusiness development coordinator for KDA. “Research efforts by KDA recognize that inherent obstacles exist, regulatory and otherwise, that are preventing further beneficial use of UAS in agricultural production systems.”
Subsequent meetings, scheduled for the spring and summer, will be hosted by the Kansas DOT’s aviation division at various locations around the state. These will include focuses on emergency management and law enforcement, research and survey, small-business interests, and UAS policies and regulations.
The working sessions will culminate at the Kansas UAS Summit this fall.
“The full integration of unmanned aerial systems is expected to make Kansas a leading state of total economic impact and jobs,” says Jesse R. Romo, director of aviation at the Kansas DOT. “It’s prudent for us to be on the leading edge of this budding industry, to understand the needs of industry, and to try and figure out how we safely and efficiently get from here to there.”
The public is invited to listen to all the discussions provided by the roundtable participant invitees.