Best Buy will help create the rules for drones in the US


Best Buy will be among the companies to help draft federal rules on drones.

Parker Brugge, Best Buy's director of government affairs, landed a seat on a 26-person FAA task force that will draft rules on registering commercial and recreational drones, The Hill reports.

The task force will advise the FAA on which drones should be exempt from having to register (because they are low-risk, such as toys and small drones), and also can make additional safety recommendations, a FAA news release says.

Best Buy joins a list of other companies on the task force, many of which are invested in the unmanned aircraft systems, including drone manufacturers and companies that want to use drones for deliveries (think Amazon and Wal-Mart), as well as government officials and airline organizations, The Register reports.

The task force comes after increasing reports from pilots who have spotted drones during their flights.

“These reports signal a troubling trend,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a news release. “Registration will help make sure that operators know the rules and remain accountable to the public for flying their unmanned aircraft responsibly. When they don’t fly safely, they’ll know there will be consequences.”

The task force is expected to report its findings to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx by Nov. 20, the release notes.

Best Buy will sell you drones too

The Business Journal says Best Buy is becoming one of the most important players in the drone market as a retailer too.

Drones are expected to be a hot ticket item this holiday season, the Star Tribune says, and as a result, Best Buy has added several drones to its product offerings. The company has also taken steps to teach employees current safety regulations and provide safety information in its stores and online, the paper notes.

Business Insider reported earlier this year the civilian drone business is expected to reach about $1 billion in 2017, and go up from there.

Drones in Minnesota

As drones continue to increase in popularity, state and local governments have taken steps to regulate their use – in many cases, to prohibit snooping by people or law enforcement, MPR News reported earlier this year. And at least one Minnesota town – St. Bonafacius – has banned them altogether.

Other organizations in Minnesota have restricted or warned of their use.

The Minnesota State High School League banned drones at all postseason tournament venues. The University of Minnesota warned that drones may cause "acute stress" in wildlife, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asked drone operators to stay away from wildfires to create a safe environment for firefighters.

While other agencies are looking into how drones can improve their work, the Minnesota Department of Transportation recently studied using drones to inspect the state's bridges, finding using the devices would help reduce cost.

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