Brazil leads the way on global commercial drone boom

I’m not sure I agree with this headline, but it certainly leads the USA (ed) Comment from Patrick as well.

SAO CARLOS, Brazil — With little more effort than it takes to launch a paper airplane, a man climbs atop a wooden table and tosses a yellow-and-white drone into the windy Brazilian skies.

With its four-foot wingspan and whiny, battery-powered engine, the drone, called Tiriba — or Parakeet in Portuguese — resembles a do-it-yourself model airplane. Yet many experts believe that portable UAVs — or unmanned aerial vehicles — like the Parakeet will refashion civilian life similar to the way militarized drones like the US-made Predator changed the face of modern warfare.

As he watches the UAV skid to a halt on a dirt landing strip after a five-minute flight, Adriano Kancelkis, the president of AGX Tecnologia, which manufactures the $35,000 device, predicts that legions of average people around the world will soon be operating drones.

“Drone technology will spread as the costs come down, just like cell phones or DVDs,” Kancelkis told GlobalPost. In the future, he said, even commercial air travel will involve UAVs.

Although the proliferation of UAVs raises serious questions about privacy, safety, and potential threats from terrorists, the non-military drone revolution is well underway across the globe. Dozens of countries have authorized their use for border control, police surveillance, firefighting, search-and-rescue, environmental operations and, in some cases, commercial purposes.

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Patrick Egan
Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).