Pro­pos­als could im­prove drone use

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - VIEWS & VOICES - Waikiki

Satur­day’s editorial propos­ing a mea­sured, phased ap­proach to reg­u­lat­ing drones in Hawaii, re­fer­ring to cur­rent House Bill 314, was a good sum­mary of the com­plex­i­ties of the “drone ecosys­tem” com­pli­cat­ing reg­u­la­tion (“Move care­fully to reg­u­late drones,” Star-Ad­ver­tiser, Our View, Feb. 11).

The editorial failed to men­tion House Bill 1478, Se­nate Bill 1296 and Se­nate Bill 563, which if en­acted would pro­vide the ma­jor­ity of the in­for­ma­tion needed to pro­ceed in that mea­sured, phased ap­proach.

HB 1478 and SB 1296 would cre­ate op­er­at­ing man­u­als, lim­its and con­straints for drones em­ployed by gov­ern­ment, pub­lic agen­cies, schools and busi­ness, while hold­ing com­mu­nity in­volve­ment ex­er­cises with those agen­cies to ver­ify safe, con­form­ing drone use, demon­strat­ing value-added ser­vices to the pub­lic. SB 563 takes a very cre­ative step for­ward, call­ing for a Drone Vol­un­teer Corps, to take ad­van­tage of civil­ian drones in a vet­ted, con­trolled way in times of need. Com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, trans­parency and value are the way for­ward; these bills pro­vide that.

Ted Ral­ston

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