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Thinking of a drone for a birthday or Christmas present? Learn the rules from an expert at Hobbs State Park in a session at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12.

The FAA has allowed drones, also known as unmanned aerial systems, to be used domestically for years for environmental monitoring, firefighting, disaster relief, and search and rescue. The Department of Homeland Security uses them to monitor borders and ports. Drones can be equipped with high-powered cameras, microphones, infrared devices, and other high-tech tools.

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018

Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Ark. Hwy. 12 just east of the Ark. Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection

Cost: Free

Federal law has streamlined the process for public agencies, including police departments, to get drone licenses, and paved the way for commercial use. About 7,500 small, commercially operated drones -- not including drones flown by public bodies -- are now active according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

As domestic drone use has grown, so have concerns about privacy, safety, regulation, and the potential for abuse, including fears of unwarranted spying on people by police agencies, or even by other citizens. Lawmakers in several states are weighing rules to regulate the use of drones.

A technically advanced cousin of the remote-controlled model plane, the commercial and hobbyist versions of drones range in price from less than $100 to thousands of dollars, depending on their size and sophistication. Drones for the hobbyist are available for purchase online, or in "brick and mortar" stores. They range in size from about 5 inches wide up to 3 or 4 feet.

What is a hobbyist drone? Where can I fly it legally? What are the Federal Aviation Administration regulations? What are the Arkansas state, city, and county laws regarding drones? Jeepers! Lots to learn.

Drone Expert Drew Shoptaw will be at Hobbs State Park to answer all of your questions. Drew even wears a Tee shirt that reads, "Talk Nerdy to Me." He really knows his subject well. You will not want to miss this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of drones, aka, unmanned aerial vehicles.

This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series. To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to: http://www.friendsofhobbs.com/ and www.ArkansasStateParks.com/hobbsstateparkconservationarea

Community on 08/08/2018

Print Headline: Learn rules about using drones

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