FLIGHT ZONE: Agriculture has benefited from drone usage by being able to irrigate and survey fields quicker. This and more was on display at the Dalby Model Aero Club yesterday.
FLIGHT ZONE: Agriculture has benefited from drone usage by being able to irrigate and survey fields quicker. This and more was on display at the Dalby Model Aero Club yesterday. Mick Doyle

Dalby drone display shows the future

DRONE displays by businesses from search and rescue to agriculture were on show at the Dalby Model Aero Club yesterday.

As part of the public hearing into regulations surrounding the use of unmanned aircraft, the morning presentation gave insight into the possibilities of new technology.

West Australian senator Glenn Sterle is chair of the senate committee overseeing this hearing. Senator Sterle said the day opened him up to possibilities he did not know were possible.

"I think this is the best thing we have done, we've actually seen some stuff I couldn't even comprehend,” Senator Sterle said.

"To think a drone the size of a beer carton can drop an inflatable life raft out to sea or an inflatable noodle with shark protection is absolutely magnificent.”

The morning drone displays showed how drones could be applied to farming industries, search and rescue, fire protection and telecommunications.

However Senator Sterle warned that government legislation had to make sure these drones could be used for the right reasons.

"My nephew is a commercial pilot and he was flying a small aircraft at 12,000ft and a drone zipped past him,” he said.

"I do not want that.”

Local farmer Luke Skerman owns a a small drone for his farm. He said his drone has been a huge benefit to his production.

"This gives us the third dimension, seeing crops from the sky,” Mr Skerman said.

"It is helpful when we are irrigating. It gives us a better indication of where water is in the paddock.”

The senate committee is gathering information on utilising commercial drones until December, before discussing legislation.


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