An email  I recently sent to a  fellow AUVSI member:

I believe that AUVSI needs to make a much stronger effort to stave off the public’s negative impression of ‘drones’ by supporting humanitarian forts (such as search and rescue organizations).  Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t that also skirt around the FAA’s restriction on commercial purposes?   I’m not seeking sponsorship through your company specifically, but through  AUVSI the association.  Releasing these ‘codes of conduct’ where AUVSI makes an effort to reassure the public that their members respect the public’s rights to privacy strikes me as rather hypocritical.

After all, the primary target market for unmanned aerial vehicles has to this point been for law enforcement surveillance purposes.  I’d leave the loss of privacy issue alone, and instead SHOW the public how ‘drones’ can be beneficial in humanitarian efforts, rather then to make reassuring press releases.
I recently was approached by a  support of a volunteer organization seeking the assistance of private investigators to assist in locating missing children.  We discussed’ the potential benefits of  ‘an eye in the sky’ at length, especially in rural area/wilderness area scenarios.  Quick response is crucial in dealing with these scenarios.  Expense, availability issues, and red tape can delay deployment of a police helicopter approach right when it would prove the most valuable.
In addition to being such a worthy cause, the rescue of lost or abducted children, the public relations aspect has such tremendous potential!    The Virginia moratorium was as a result of pressure on the Virginia legislature by their constituents to prevent ‘big brother’ from stealing away their privacy.  The only way to fight this PR war is to develop a more positive image of these technologies with John Q. Public.
Just a bit of brainstorming.  What are your thoughts?
I respect your opinions.  Please just level with me.

James Pollock Bulldog Investigations (540)922-3896

One Response to “UAV’s can save lives: Search and Rescue applications”

  1. Dennis Royer says:

    Your argument makes sense. Privacy is always a legitimate concern, but so is saving lives. The public’s perception of UAVs will change the first time a lost child is found. This is clearly an issue where one size does not fit all.

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