As Amazon Inc. and Google Inc. consider drones for tasks ranging from package delivery to providing high-speed Internet, regulators and military planners worry that low-cost drones, which are widely available for purchase, could pose a threat to commercial aviation, vital infrastructure and even troops.
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For the average consumer, drones are just expensive toys for snowboarders and techies. But for businesses, researchers and government agencies, especially in Hawaii, they’re the latest tool to help them work in faster, safer and cheaper ways. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or quad copters, or remote-controlled planes or whatever you want to call them, are being used in Hawaii for some very interesting and cutting-edge tasks, from letting University of Hawaii researchers cheaply calculate rainfall runoff rates to helping the Honolulu Fire Department quickly identify smoldering hot spots during brush fires.
Ryan Salcedo has announced the formation of the Hawaii Drone Club, chartered under the Academy of Model Aeronotics (AMA Charter #5239), with the mission: “Promote responsible, productive and fun use of unmanned systems across the Hawaiian Islands.” Primary activities will be education, advocacy, assistance and fellowship.