Dr. Michael Canders Discusses Growing Use of Drones and Dangers Posed to Aviation at LIMBA Meeting
On March 17, Dr. Michael Canders, Professor of Aviation, Farmingdale State College, was the guest speaker as part of the LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) Breakfast Series, which was held at the Clarion Hotel in Ronkonkoma. Dr. Canders, a combat veteran and experienced military pilot, is an FAA-certified airline transport pilot, helicopter pilot, remote (drone) pilot and former military instructor pilot and flight examiner.
Dr. Canders discussed the growing usage of drones and the possible dangers it may cause if it collides with commercial aircraft. He predicted that, within five years, a drone will come into contact with a large airliner over U.S. airspace, with tragic results. He said that, while the odds that a drone will collide with other aircraft are currently low, that probability will increase in the future as drone usage becomes more prevalent. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airline pilots report five drone sightings a day, but Dr. Canders believes the number is much higher and those sightings are just not being reported.
He urged all unlicensed drone pilots to undergo formal training so they can be officially licensed to operate these machines and educate themselves on this impending threat. Farmingdale State College has announced that, on April 15, the college will offer licensing courses for drone users.
Despite the dangers it may pose to other aircraft, Dr. Canders said that drones will provide great benefits to society. Some of the applications for drone usage include precision agriculture — where drones can measure the crops’ health and water usage and look for ways to reduce the use of pesticides — as well as disaster management, search and rescue, law enforcement, public safety, aerial mapping, environmental conservation, sporting events and delivery of goods. He also discussed the economic impact of these machines: from 2015 to 2025, the market share will grow to $82 billion, creating 104,000 jobs and generating $482 million in sales tax revenues. The FAA predicts that, by the end of the year, there will be 5 million systems in operation; that number will increase to 7 million by 2020.
Dr. Canders was joined by Scott Harrigan, President, Harkin Aerial Inc., who brought two drones with him to explain how they work and what his opinion on the safety of operating drones. There was also a question-and-answer session with the attendees.
For more information, or for a list of upcoming events, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.
* Photo is attached.
Since 1968, LIMBA (Long Island Metro Business Action) has been Long Island’s catalyst for economic investment and improvement, sponsoring lively breakfast forums featuring Long Island business activists and government officials. Its mission is to promote and address issues that affect the quality of life on Long Island. For more information, call (631) 757-1698 or visit www.limba.net.