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The Gaucho Gazette

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Drones: An Ally, or an Enemy?

Photo by Theo Schwebel

Photo by Theo Schwebel

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Last week the city of Scottsdale, Arizona banned the use of drones from their 30,000 acre nature preserve. City officials believe that they pose a public safety concern and might have a negative effect on the wildlife. In this day and age, where certain people depend on drones, how much of a threat do they actually pose to society? Since their introduction to the general public, drones have been employed for recreational, business, and policing activities, bringing both positive and negative aspects to society.

   Freshman Andrew Gotshall explained how drones are used.

   “I’ve seen people and contractors use them to create maps of construction sites and zones to help them plot areas. Police have been using them recently for tracking bad guys instead of helicopters because they’re cheaper and easier to use,” said Gotshall.

   Drones are useful, but recently they have been banned from certain areas like parks, national monuments, and airports. This new rule can even affect smaller towns like Petaluma.

   “Technically, most of Petaluma is a ‘no fly’ zone because you can’t fly drones within three miles of an airport,” said Gotshall.

     High schools around the country have also been banning drones from their football games. The Maine Principals Association has banned the use of drones in all playoff games due to their potential to distract the players or the coaches, and pose a threat to everyone in attendance.

   Librarian Nathan Libecap talked about how drones are useful in the modern world.

  “I think our drone really gives the students the opportunity to look or get their hands on something that they might not normally have access to. Not everyone is going to be able to afford a $500 drone, so if we have one in the library that students are willing to go through a little bit of a training process with, and then can play around with it, to me that’s worth it because there are gonna be jobs in the future where if you know how to use a drone it would be a bonus on your resume,” said Libecap.

   There are arguments claiming stricter guidelines should be implemented when it comes to buying drones. While the Federal Aviation Administration requires any unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55lbs to be registered online, the registration is voluntary. Mr Libecap discussed the legal side of owning a drone.

   “Right now it’s one of those things that if you don’t register and you get caught, you can get in trouble. The reason behind registering them is so that the government can get an idea of how they’re being used and why people are buying them. Like anything, there is a balance that should be found between regulation and being able to do whatever you want,” said Libecap.   

   Drones could be dangerous if used in the wrong way, but when used effectively they can improve aspects of the workforce. Police officers can use them to apprehend suspects, construction crews can use them to plot houses, skyscrapers, and buildings of the future. This technology will help this generation in more ways than meets the eye.

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Drones: An Ally, or an Enemy?