Maryland Debates Drone Regulations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Debates Drone Regulations

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CAMBRIDGE, Md.-  Drones are taking off in every way imaginable.  Lawmakers in Annapolis will decide whether the state controls drone usage.

The state is looking at conducting a study into the possible uses of drones, as well as how to address public safety and privacy concerns.

But Dorchester county councilman Tom Bradshaw says counties should make the call because, for example, he sees the uses of drones for farmers.

"If the farmer can't get into the middle of the field, then he can take the drone and go up and look overtop of it.  He can see areas that he missed with fertilizer and pesticide application," said Bradshaw.  He went on to say that trappers can also use drones to locate and study beaver dams.

Sue Wyatt's son Roy uses drones to film commercials and other projects across the world.  She too sees the benefits.

"You can fly the drone out over the river and look at everything and bring it back. It's just amazing, and it's a lot of fun," said Wyatt.

Lynn Stavdal of Woolford is for regulating drones.

"When they become more popular, we're going to see a whole lot more of them in the skies and they have the potential for it to crash, to cause bodily injury, so I think they need to be regulated," Stavdal said.

Mindy Jones of Church Creek says, "To be blunt about it, they freak me out that somebody can just fly over and invade your privacy of you and your kids in your backyard."

It's a debate that won't be coming down for a landing anytime soon.

Commercial and private pilots have also expressed concerns about the use of drones, saying that their operation endangers the lives of them and their passengers should the drone collide with their aircraft.  They want to see training so anyone using a drone knows how to use the airspace responsibly.  They are hoping the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can put some regulations in place and clear up once and for all how drones can be used.

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