Commissioners approve policy governing county drone use

Commissioners approve policy governing county drone use
Posted on 11/29/2016

La Plata County has purchased several unmanned aerial vehicles - known more commonly as drones - and is developing  a program to use the machines to support and augment operations through improved efficiency and safety to benefit the health, safety and welfare of the county community. 

Prior to deploying these tools for county purposes, the Board of County Commissioners and county staff developed policy, procedures and guidelines to govern how the drones are used. The Board of County Commissioners approved the policy at its Jan. 24 business meeting.

View the La Plata County drone policy presentation

Expanded view
 These relatively low-cost tools build upon the county's 60 years of utilizing aerial photography to support its functions. Drones can improve La Plata County's ability  to safely and efficiently gather data to assist with a broad range of county functions including emergency management, search & rescue activities, law enforcement, mapping and measuring activities, and conducting damage assessments - and other projects that arise for which drone usage can improve safety and efficacy. 

See a progression of aerial imagery 

Guiding policy
 In order to ensure that this equipment is utilized safely and effectively, the Board of County Commissioners developed policy governing drone usage, establishing guidelines for record-keeping, public participation, privacy, equipment management, training and certification, project implementation and other elements. 
Read policy governing drone program