MACo Explores Government Applications for Drones

Various government departments may have uses for unmanned aircraft systems (commonly called drones). MACo is seeking information on current programs and future plans.

County and state governments are exploring various applications for unmanned aircraft systems that may allow them to provide improved services to the public. There are also challenges to using drones, including cost, safety, privacy, and liability concerns.

MACo is partnering with the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC) to gather more information from local governments about their current use of this aerial technology, and future planned uses. A survey distributed by MACo to its professional affiliates and the Maryland Association of Boards of Education will be shared with the State and Local Work Group on UAS. The Work Group was assembled by the Department of State Police to report on drone use to the legislature and Governor this fall.

Questions in the survey include:

  1. Does your agency/department use UAS for operations?
  2. Does your agency/department have plans to use UAS for operations?
  3. Have you observed any unmanned aircraft systems flying in such a way that they interfered with your agency’s operations?

MACo is also working with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council to explore the possibility of holding an educational symposium for GIS, Public Works, and Procurement Officers to discuss drone applications and joint purchasing opportunities across governments.

For information about drone uses, also see:

Annapolis Deploys Drones to Tackle Traffic Problems

MES Evaluating Use of Drones For More Efficient Data Collection