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Pendulums and Your Successful Drone Program

Drones (UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and drone programs are a thing these days.  And despite some detractors, they are – and should be – here to stay.

Through their human pilot operators … they’ve found impressive relevance in home inspections, disaster scene size-up and search and rescue for the lost and missing.

But like most public technology, they’ve also been found relevant in invading people’s privacy, endangering the public and being generally antagonistic against people and things.


As Response Leaders, we must find and promote the middle ground.  Finding and focusing on the sweet spot of this swinging pendulum should be the objective, lest people higher on the food chain decide to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Saw this video this morning via N.K., an overseas emergency management colleague.  It offers some interesting solutions on technology that can be used – by approved authorities I might add – to thwart the negative end of the swinging pendulum.

Safe for work but check your volume!

For me, knowing that there are countermeasures against illegal drone usage puts my mind a little more at ease.  You?

For conspiracy theorists, police haters and potential wrong-doers, that video will probably infuriate them (they’re not my intended audience anyway).

As time goes on we’ll likely see (or experience) examples of drones that find Little Timmy lost in the woods in the same news cycle as a drone that impacts a passenger airplane while in flight.

Nonetheless, leadership through these swings of the pendulum is critical.

Here are 3 key considerations for leading a successful drone program.

  1. Recognize, get informed, embrace and communicate the downside of drone usage for evil instead of good
  2. Recognize, get informed, embrace and communicate the limitations of drones
  3. Recognize, get informed, embrace and communicate the innovative and life safety value of drone usage

By acknowledging and communicating early and often the strengths AND the weaknesses of drones, other stakeholders (above and below us in the chain) will more likely buy into the realistic expectations and benefits that come with responsible drone usage.


Who else needs to know?