The Underappreciated Upside of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Drone technology has many potential applications for county governments – and some that are already in play.

You may not realize how many uses drones have for county governments.

Back-to-back sessions on drone technology at MACo’s Summer Conference Technology Expo will delve into government enforcement of unlawful uses of drones AND government uses of unmanned aircraft. In The Underappreciated Upside of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, speakers will share information including:

  • Lessons learned from starting up a county drone program
  • Weighing the decision between contracting pilots versus going in-house
  • Pilot training programs and other resources
  • Information about PR, engineering, planning and zoning, public safety and emergency management applications of drone technology

Matt Scassero, Director of the University of Maryland, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site in southern Maryland will moderate the discussion and provide insight into the next steps for this technology.

Session: The Underappreciated Upside of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Description: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (commonly known as “drones”) offer exciting possibilities for local government. Drones can assist county governments in a wide array of areas, including public safety surveillance, natural disaster and environmental assessments, planning reviews, and transportation information, among others. Panelists will discuss the current state of drone technology, discussing the potential benefits of local government applications, and sharing insight into appropriate program parameters and expectations, adherence to FAA regulations, start-up and training costs, and proper assessment of vendor and contractor


    • Erick Quintanilla, PLS, Senior Surveyor, Maryland Environmental Service
    • Samuel Stanton, GIS Coordinator, Queen Anne’s Department of Planning and Zoning
    • Alicia McConnell, PE, sUAS UAS Program Manager, Michael Baker Intl, Inc.
    • John Mongan, Video Services Manager, Office of the County Executive, Frederick County Government
    • Captain Dwight Sommers, Frederick Police Department
    • Michael Boldosser, CEM, MDPEMP, Emergency Management Specialist II, Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 14, 2019; 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 14-17, 2019 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s conference theme is “Winds of Change.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: