News Article

Jan 19, 2018

City UAV program under way

The City of Johnson City announced Friday that its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program is ready to take flight. Following a yearlong planning process and development of an internal policy, the City is now set to operate UAVs (commonly called “drones”) for a multitude of uses including project management, public safety, economic development, mapping, and surveying among others.
“The City’s UAV can capture visual images as well as non-visual data such as thermal or infrared so we will be able to tell, for instance, if a City building is losing heat or where a fire might be originating,” added Geospatial Project Manager Link Elmore, one of the City’s two Federal Aviation Administration-certified pilots.
The other pilot, Officer Steve Crow, will assist with the UAV program for the Police Department. Officers will be able to utilize drones in emergency situations such as searching for a missing person or a dangerous fleeing suspect.
“Essentially having another set of eyes in sky to assess places and situations we couldn’t before makes this a groundbreaking tool for us,” Elmore said. “Better data will lead to better decision-making for our citizens, and at the end of the day that’s really what it’s all about.”

Link Elmore, geospatial project manager
Information Technology

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