Drones

Drone Aviation Corp.

A Jacksonville drone company has secured a new contract worth more than $800,000 from a U.S. Department of Defense customer.


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we talked about the future of Visit Florida with Robert Skrob (01:02), executive director of the Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations. We learned about the future of the use of drones with Jameson Rice (21:34), associate with the law firm Holland and Knight. Our latest edition of “Movable Feast” hosted by Leigh Cort of the Women’s Food Alliance features Lorna McDonald (36:40) from St. Augustine’s The Raintree restaurant. Dr. Arun Gulani (46:23) from Gulana Vision Care talks about how corneal transplants might become a thing of the past.  

 

U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy’s new drone program will be calling Jacksonville home.

Naval Station Mayport beat out fellow Florida base Naval Air Station Key West and a NASA flight facility in Virginia for the contract.


Shannon Greene / WJCT News

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is urging the Navy to make Florida home for a new squadron of unmanned drones.

Jacksonville is one of three sites currently in the running.

Two of the three sites being considered for the new squadron of unmanned aerial surveillance drones are in Florida — Naval Air Station Key West and Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville. NASA Flight Facility in Virginia is also being considered.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson wants federal investigators to take another dive into the Atlantic to locate the data recorder for sunken cargo ship El Faro.

Nelson says the recorder could go a long way toward piecing together why the ship sailed directly into a powerful hurricane three months ago.


Updated 6:30 p.m. ET with SkyPan reaction

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $1.9 million fine against an aerial photography company the agency says took 65 unauthorized flights using drones.

For wildlife biologists, unmanned aerial vehicles are like a dream come true.

Instead of struggling through rugged, difficult terrain to get to the animal they want to study, they can just send in a drone with a camera.

And as drones get cheaper and more available, everyone in biology seems to have new ideas for how to use them, says Mark Ditmer, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

But how do the animals feel about these little UFOs hovering overhead?

Delivery By Drone Is Hovering Closer To Reality

Jul 22, 2015

Last week, a drone delivered 24 packages of medicine and supplies to a health fair in rural Virginia. The delivery marks the first FAA-approved delivery by drone and more are in the planning stages.

This is sure to interest a Silicon Valley startup, which has teamed up with the Swiss Post and Swiss WorldCargo. Matternet and the Swiss companies are joining in testing the commercial use of logistics drones.

Commercial Drone Industry Expands In Jacksonville

Jun 4, 2015
Bonnie Zerr / WJCT News

Aviation Systems Engineering Co. in Jacksonville will launch its commercial unmanned systems, or drone, program on June 15.

The FAA gave ASEC approval to use drones for commercial use in May.

There are several ways to utilize drones other than for military operations. Alternative uses include film production, agricultural monitoring and finding victims in search and rescue missions.

We speak with Brent Klavon, Program Manager with the Jacksonville-based company Aviation Systems Engineering, about the commercial applications and regulations for unmanned aviation vehicles, commonly known as drones. The Federal Aviation Administration recently granted the company an exemption to use drones for commercial and industrial purposes.

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