Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approves public safety drone program

Virginia

The use of drone programs for public safety is becoming increasingly popular, and a local region has just been given the green light to begin one of their own. 

Last week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the small unmanned aircraft systems program. Some agencies included in the program are law enforcement, and the fire and rescue department. Officials say the department has been very transparent throughout the two-year planning process and expects this transparency to continue through its operation. 

“We’re gonna have updates on the program manual. Anytime we fly we’ll have updates as far as what we’ve done. We have Fairfax alerts if you want to sign up and get info on when we’ll be flying,”​​​​​​ said Roy Shrout, Deputy Coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management.

Public safety agencies will begin a 90-day process of equipment purchases, pilot certifications, and flight training. The program is expected to “go live” beginning in late August to early September. 

A UAS notification group has been created in Fairfax Alerts to provide public notifications for missions or training flights.

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