Drones

Ada County Sheriff's Office

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office says it will use drones for limited purposes while investigating crimes.

The Sheriff’s Office has created a new drone policy and picked nine deputies to operate and fly the unmanned crafts. The office stresses that it will not violate the privacy of citizens.

Boise Youth Embraces Drones Amid Uncertain Future

Aug 24, 2017
Javin Schwartzman

Once reserved for the military, the market for personal drones has rapidly expanded over the past few years. That leaves many unanswered questions as to how they’ll fit into society and how young people will use them to shape the future.

 

 


Mike Stewart / AP Images

A few years ago, the market for consumer drones exploded. Each wildfire season since then, officials have been trying to educate the public in the law. People fly the small unmanned devices over fires to get up-close footage and photos, often not knowing the practice is illegal.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Scenarios in which police use drones for investigations keep going up and up.

Idaho State Police, which is about a year into its program of using unmanned aircraft to get birds-eye views of crash and crime scenes, has six drones and 13 pilots throughout the state, according to the Coeur d'Alene Press.

"Our missions to fly have started to pick up," ISP Capt. John Ganske said during a demonstration last week at the agency's District 1 office in Coeur d'Alene.

Pat Joyce / Flickr

Researchers at Idaho State University have programmed drones to be able to identify potatoes infected with a virus.

Researchers say they've been able to find individual plants infected with potato virus Y, commonly called PVY, with 90 percent accuracy using cameras mounted on drones, The Capital Press reported Friday.

Empire Unmanned / Facebook

The founder of an Idaho company that introduced the use of drones in agriculture is dreaming bigger — literally.

Empire Unmanned founder Steve Edgar is considering using Pocatello Regional Airport as a future hub for possible freight-carrying drones, reported The Capital Press. Edgar spoke about the possibility and the future of aerial shipping at Idaho State University last week.

Andrew Xu / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal authorities say they've launched the first national system intended to prevent hobby drones from interfering with planes and helicopters fighting wildfires.

The U.S. Interior Department announced the kickoff of the pilot project Monday. It uses smartphone apps already on the market to quickly alert drone fliers to temporary flight restrictions over wildfires.

FAA

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration was in Boise Monday. Director Michael Huerta spoke to the National Association of State Aviation Officials convention at the Boise Center. Prior to his comments there, Huerta visited the National Interagency Fire Center. 

The FAA and officials at NIFC have worked together to try and curb the issue of drones flying too close to aerial firefighting operations. Numerous times this year, air tankers and helicopters flying over wildfires had to be grounded because drones were discovered nearby.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Idaho fish and game regulators want there to be no doubt that hunters cannot use drones. In Oregon as well, lawmakers have tried to head off a fair chase issue before it rears its head.

U.S. Forest Service

Drones are a growing concern for those who fight the nation’s wildfires, and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise is again asking those who fly drones to keep them away from fires.

Twice last week, aerial firefights on the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California had to be suspended because of nearby Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS.   

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

One Idaho start-up company is making strides in the drone industry, and has begun flying the unmanned aircrafts to help farmers get the best possible yield. The goal is to accurately and quickly assess problem crops early on – ones that could be weather damaged or needing more water – so the farmers can make adjustments.  

Images from drones equipped with high-tech cameras and sensors can show hard-to-access problem areas, potentially saving farmers time and money.

Advanced Aviation Solutions , an Idaho-based startup, has become the first company to win federal approval to use drones in farm settings.

Judging from holiday advertising, lots of teenagers and grownups will find a drone under the Christmas tree this year. But the increasing affordability and popularity of remotely piloted airplanes and choppers is leading to conflict in Northwest skies.

Commercial drones are taking to the Northwest skies even though the rules aren't clear.

Neal Herbert / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr Creative Commons

A German citizen who crashed a drone into a lake in Yellowstone National Park this summer has been banned from the park for a year and was ordered to pay $1,600 in fines and restitution.

Andreas Meissner of Koenigswinter, Germany, was charged with four federal misdemeanors after a drone he was using to shoot video of a charity bicycle ride through the park crashed into Lake Yellowstone on July 18.

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