Pis­gah land­fill, park area not a good lo­ca­tion for drone park

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

My name is Michael Smith, a 27-year-old res­i­dent of Pis­gah. I read your ar­ti­cle about the new drone park at the Pis­gah park/land­fill area [“County to move for­ward on drone park,” July 6, Mary­land In­de­pen­dent]. Thank you for writ­ing this ar­ti­cle to in­form res­i­dents and drone users of this new lo­ca­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, I, as well as other res­i­dents who live close to land­fill prop­erty, do not agree with this lo­ca­tion for a drone park. With pri­vate prop­erty sur­round­ing the new drone park lo­ca­tion in­clud­ing res­i­dences and horse farms, there will be many con­flicts of in­ter­est. My ma­jor con­cern and mis­un­der­stand­ing of the ar­ti­cle is “op­er­a­tors must avoid fly­ing over pedes­tri­ans and wildlife.” Be­ing an avid out­doors man, I can as­sure you, wildlife will be ha­rassed in Pis­gah Park ei­ther know­ingly or un­know­ingly by drone op­er­a­tors with this new pro­posed drone park. I have seen first hand drones flown in­side the Pis­gah Park. They are loud and po­ten­tially haz­ardous. Rules are not al­ways fol­lowed. Drone op­er­a­tors can leave the des­ig­nated area as they wish. What would be the reper­cus­sions to their ac­tions? This re­cre­ational drone park is go­ing to cre­ate more is­sues than res­o­lu­tions. I ab­so­lutely agree that in­di­vid­u­als should have the right to op­er­ate their drones as they wish, but what is the com­pro­mise for all those in­volved?

Re­cently, the county has added new equip­ment to the park. They have set up ex­er­cise equip­ment and play­grounds around the track. As a hus­band and father of three young boys, I know that my fam­ily would feel un­com­fort­able with drones fly­ing over us, which is ex­actly what hap­pened the last time we went to the park. We visit the park of­ten. The kids love the play­ground and my wife loves the track. Add a noisy drone fly­ing over head be­cause some­one who re­fuses to fol­low rules in­ter­rupts our fam­ily time.

Be­cause of the park at­mos­phere, I’m con­vinced that drone users will get bored fly­ing over a field and start look­ing else­where, such as over wildlife, the park and res­i­dences.

A pe­ti­tion against this park will be started to­day. I have more in­for­ma­tion to in­clude such as meth­ane well and pip­ing sys­tems on the Pis­gah land­fill that could cre­ate haz­ardous risk to drone op­er­a­tor safety.

Michael Smith, In­dian Head

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