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Kansas Officials Wants The State To Become A Leader In Drone Technology

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas has hired a new state government official responsible for regulating drones. As Stephen Koranda reports, the state’s first director of unmanned aircraft systems says Kansas could be at the forefront of the technology.

Air Force veteran Bob Brock will lead the efforts in Kansas to regulate unmanned aircraft while boosting the industry. Brock says the state’s aircraft sector puts Kansas in a position to become a leader in areas like manufacturing and training related to drones.

“If we do this well and we do it methodically, there’s no reason at all that this couldn’t be a very big industry for our state,” Brock says.

Brock says drones have lots of uses: They can be an affordable way to inspect crops and bridges, for example.

He says the state needs to create rules for safely operating drones and protecting privacy, while recognizing that they have useful commercial applications.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.