This week in drone News, we have four stories for you. The first one is a big one: Oregon has named a new Aviation Director, and he's a good one. We'll talk about Florida public safety pushing back against the country of origin ban, a new partnership for Pilot Institute, and, lastly, 200 weeks of news. So let's get to it!
Kenji Sugahara appointed as new Oregon Department of Aviation Director
For the first story, I'm excited to announce that our friend, Kenji Sugahara, was appointed as the new Oregon Department of Aviation Director. A huge congratulations to Kenji! He's the President and CEO of the Drone Service Providers Alliance. You've seen him on the show quite a few times, along with Vic Moss.
He's also the CEO of Air Sentinel and Acam Aerial, which is his company where he does a lot of aerial work using his drone. Additionally, he's a principal at Area Sent. Kenji has been instrumental in many things in aviation, especially in the UAS world, so we're really excited to see what he's going to do. He's beginning as Director on May 1st, 2023, and we can't wait to see all the cool things he's going to accomplish in his new position.
Public safety in Florida pushes back against country of origin ban
For your second story this week, public safety in Florida is pushing back against the country of origin ban. This week, a group of senators and First Responders discussed a bill to push back the effective dates of the country of origin ban on drones.
A number of departments stated that they had 25+ drones at their disposal and they could use them before the first of the year, but now they can't. First responders also said that they've noticed an increase of up to $7,000 in the purchase price of Skydio drones. To put it in perspective, the X2E normally goes for around $15,000.
Senators also pushed for blanket rules and standards that would apply to any drone, regardless of country of origin, and essentially create a standard that anyone could meet and prove that they can actually meet the standard. It really is that simple. If you have some spare time, I recommend listening to the hearing and watching it. There is some good information there; check out this link.
Partnership with Unmanned Tactical Group
For your third story this week, we're excited to announce that we're partnering with Unmanned Tactical Group and Brendan Carr to offer in-person classes for public safety agencies. All the training will be done through Unmanned Tactical Group.
The classes include a variety of different topics, such as public safety UAS courses, night ops, thermal sensor training, crash and crime scene mapping, and reconstruction. The list is pretty long, so we'll put a link down in the description.
We're excited to be working with them; they bring a wealth of information, and we'll be able to share all that knowledge with you.
200 Episodes of Drone News
For your fourth story this week, a huge thank you goes to everyone who tunes into YouTube on their Friday mornings to watch these news updates. This week marks 200 consecutive weeks of drone news.
That's right, 200 consecutive weeks of drone news! I started this segment before Pilot Institute was even a company because I wanted my, at the time, very few students to stay informed. We've obviously grown tremendously since then, so this is a big thank you from me and the rest of the Pilot Institute team. Here's to 200 more! Hopefully, I will have this announcement in four more years. I'm really excited about this.
A quick note before we sign off: we'll be exhibiting at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, next week, from Tuesday through Sunday. Come check out the booth, meet the team, ask questions – you can even put on VR goggles and do a pre-flight of an aircraft! This is a new feature that we're going to be adding to the course very soon.
So, that's it. That's all I have. We'll see you next week, and next week we'll actually do the show from Florida. See you then!
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