Federal authorities are seeking a high-tech solution for the increasing problem of hobby drones flying over active wildfires and endangering airplane and helicopter pilots trying to put out blazes.
The U.S. Interior Department says it’s working with drone makers and mapping companies to create a system that uses smartphones to quickly alert drone users when flight restrictions are in effect over wildfires.
The agency says the next step is for drone builders to make it possible for drone operators to activate systems that would automatically prevent a drone from entering temporarily restricted airspace.
Authorities recorded 20 drone encroachments at wildfires last year, with more than half hindering firefighting efforts.
In the past week, three drone sightings in Utah have grounded aerial firefighters on a blaze that has forced the evacuation of 100 homes. Utah’s governor says the evacuations might have been avoided if not for the drones.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)