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Aeryon Scout in the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine

Drones for Hire - The newest eyes in the sky are drawing attention of power companies and conservation groups, and the ACLU. 

AUVSI attendees in Las Vegas were quite eager to hear University of Alaska's Greg Walker, director of the Unmanned Aircraft Program, tell them that during a January 2012 fuel shortage in Nome, the FAA granted an airport-proximity exemption for a drone.

[Source: Smithsonian Air & Space | Drones for Hire | January 2013 Edition] 

The followinig is an excerpt from the full article of the January 2013 edition of the Smithsonian Air & Space magazine. 

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"AUVSI attendees in Las Vegas were quite eager, then to hear university of Alaska's Greg Walker, director of the Unmanned Aircraft Program, tell them that during a January 2012 fuel shortage in Nome, the FAA granted an airport-proximity exemption for a drone. To prepare for the much-needed arrival of a Russian fuel-oil tanker, state authorities requested permission to fly the Scout multi-copter to photograph sea ice—including at locations within a mile of the city’s busy airport. Just three days after the state’s request, the FAA signed off on it. Alaskan operators offered to set up their prototype ground-based sense-and-avoid system, since the Scout has no sensors aboard it to enable the craft to steer clear of collisions on its own, but the FAA required only automatic radio recordings that notified pilots in the area to keep an eye out for the unpiloted vehicle and increased staff to watch the airspace."

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