March 2019 Vol. 27, No. 1

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TPT, MnDOT create drone safety video

So you own a drone. Now what?

That’s the title of a new video created by Twin Cities PBS (known as TPT) and MnDOT in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Speakers in the short video discuss steps to take before your maiden flight.

Tony Fernando, MnDOT’s unmanned aircraft systems program administrator, says the first thing a drone pilot must do is register with the FAA. “Remember that drones are aircraft—and aircraft are very highly regulated,” he says.

Several additional state and federal requirements need to be fulfilled before operating a drone for purposes other than recreation.

In the video, Fernando shares specific guidelines for safe drone operation: Keep the aircraft in sight, do not fly over people, and stay clear of airports, heliports, and hospitals. He also discusses smartphone apps that allow users to do their flight planning.

This is the first in a series of videos related to drone safety that MnDOT Aeronautics is producing with TPT. The video and more guidance from Fernando are available on TPT’s “Twin Cities PBS Originals” website.

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