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What Role Can Drones Play in EAA’s Volunteer Program?

I have to admit, I am fascinated by drones.

By Janine Diana, VP of People & Culture, EAA Lifetime 1082064

Drones are being used by law enforcement, university researchers, amateur photographers, and perhaps even your neighbors. Colleges are now offering  Unmanned Aircraft Systems programs; and drones are likely to reinvent the shipping industry by delivering packages to your door.

Volunteer programs across America are being impacted by drones. From volunteer firefighters utlizing drones to investigate fire-damaged structures and film fire and rescue plans to volunteers using drones to assist in missing children searches in areas that are hard to reach.  The City of Detroit even has volunteer citizens group using drones to keep their neighborhoods safe in an effort to better Detroit’s image and keep the number of arsons down.

Drones can be low flying, high flying, tiny or huge, silent or noisy, super-visible or totally invisible, your best friend or your worst enemy. They can have lights, sound, cameras, microphones, sensors, or robotic arms. Drones can also roll along the ground, stick to the side of a building, float in a river, dive under water, jump onto a building, climb a tree, or attach themselves like parasites to the sides of trains, ships, and airplanes. One moment they can be hovering in front of you and the next they can fly off at the speed of sound, disappearing into the clouds.

Our colleagues in EAA’s government advocacy office and other organizations, including the FAA, are still wrestling with how to embrace these new flying machines while maintaining flight safety. We also must remember that EAA still prohibits drones and similar flying objects on the AirVenture grounds for air traffic and safety reasons.

 But simply for fun, let’s play a little close-to-reality science fiction. Combining all of these capabilities and special features into one single device could open up a world of possibilities. So, how would drones revolutionize EAA’s volunteer program? Find open auto parking spots easily? Maybe deliver your Operation Thirst lunch?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  Send me an email at jdiana@eaa.org

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