ARLINGTON, TX -- They provide a bird’s eye view of our world. We’re talking about unmanned aircraft, or their more common names, drones.
These little technical marvels are all the rage these days. They are fast becoming a regular sight in today’s communities.
The most expensive high-tech drones are being used by the military to combat terrorism and to target enemies on the battlefield.
But, closer to home – the remote-controlled copters and planes are proving to be very handy in our everyday life. Right now, they are flying in Plano to help search teams, who are looking for Christina Morris, the Fort Worth woman who has been missing for nearly two weeks.
“We are very grateful. They are covering a lot of ground for us that would otherwise take a lot longer than what we`re looking at right now,” said David Tilley, a spokesman from the Plano Police Department.
On the flip side, not every use is a life or death situation.
There are hobbyists and amateur fly-boys who are stirring up controversy with their amazing aerials. According to the FAA’s website, they are allowed to send up their drones as long as it’s for recreational use and if the operators followed a few simple rules.
All of the information and guidelines are posted on the site. But, UTA Associate Professor Andrew Clark says the regulations implemented by the FAA don’t go far enough to address privacy and public safety matters.
“It's one thing to be able to use them in wide open spaces. It's another to use them in congested cities, downtown Dallas and Fort Worth," says Dr. Clark.
He added there are limitless possibilities on how drones can be used by cities, law enforcement and civilians. But, Clark also noted that we must very cautious on what that potential power can bring.
So, heads up. They’re out there, and more are surely coming.