What restrictions are in place to protect citizens' civil liberties and privacy concerns related to unmanned aircraft systems?
The Department of the Interior (DOI)--which includes the USGS--has taken the following actions related to privacy:
Operating UAS primarily over DOI lands.
Obtaining written permission from land owners when UAS operations need to launch and/or land on their property.
Following standard FAA and DOI approved procedures for aircraft operations (including special use permits, landowner approval letters, and developing safety cases). Must obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the FAA prior to conducting any flight operations outside of restricted airspace.
Maintaining open and transparent UAS operations: UAS mission schedules are listed on the USGS UAS Project Office website, and local press and landowners are invited to observe the operations.
Public hearings are held if required by the managing agency or local governing officials
Florida and North Carolina Unit personnel collaborated on a unique study at Yawkey Wildlife Center in South Carolina using aerial photographs collected by the Florida Unit’s unmanned aircraft system (UAS). L-R: Kelsey Oberneufeman (NC Unit), Adam Watts (FL Unit), Scott Bowman (Univ. of FL), Jaime Collazo (NC Unit), Kyuho Lee (Univ. of FL), Bob Joyner (Yawkey Wildlife Center).