So a video of Cumberland Falls came my way via Facebook. The camera soared, circled, zoomed in, and then hovered in the mist. I do not believe that I have ever seen the Falls look more regal, more inviting, more beautiful. Then comes another video this time of Harlan County. The camera flew around the courthouse, down the city blocks, looks the dough boy statue in the face, and then flies off to skip over Harlan County Lake’s surface. This is the view birds have our world and the Promise Zone looks fantastic.
These images were taken by talented pilots of not air planes nor helicopters, but of drones. Drones also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are going mainstream. Once used exclusively by the military, the technology has now advance and the cost lowered that drone technology is being applied everywhere. The mega internet company, Amazon has long term plans on making deliveries using drones instead of postal workers.
Thirty years of video games has created a pool of individuals with hand-eye coordination necessary to pilot such devices. Combine that labor pool with lower cost and you have job creation. A 2013 report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, projected that by 2025 more than 100,000 new jobs in flying unmanned aircraft will be available.
Well I know a place that could use 100,000 new jobs. And so do some forward thinking folks in Perry and Knott Counties. Through a partnership with the Perry and Knott Counties’ Judge-Executives, the President of Hazard Community and Technical College, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, and the Chairman of the Wendell Ford Airport Board in Hazard, the USA Drone Port: National Unmanned Robotic Research and Development Center was announced. “The proposed port will have a 3,500 foot runaway capable of landing fixed wing aircraft (drones) and circular pads for smaller drones. The port will house facilities for inventors, technicians, students, and manufacturers to work, fly, drive, test, and rebuild unmanned and other products… HCTC staff member Bart Massey, a licensed drone pilot, will lead the project on behalf of the Drone Port Board.” reported journalist, Ron Daley.
One can get a camera loaded drone for less than $150 which leads to the question, why do we need a Drone Port? Because the Federal Aviation Administration regulates air space to keep everyone and everything in the air safe; therefore, the FAA has rules for both commercial drone pilots and hobbyists. Those rules, the demonstration of competency and the need for a license make the Drone Port viable. The addition of drone technology innovation and new applications make the Port significant. Yes, the future is cool.
If you would like to have a bird’s eye view of the Promise Zone, check out these videos: www.facebook.com/skydronestudios/videos/vb.601308126599670/1196596323737511/?type=2&theater from Sky Drone videos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI1d81vgq-Q by .
Please take a moment to like the Kentucky Promise Zone Facebook page where we’ll be posting uplifting, regional news and breathtaking drone videos until 2024. It’s a Promise.