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Local News

Bend City Council Hearing Public Comments on Drones


There is a battle brewing in Central Oregon over whether to allow the testing of aerial drones.  At Wednesday night's City Council meeting, councilors discussed the proposal.   The Council voted five to two to draft a letter supporting drone testing.   Proponents say it will bring badly needed jobs to the region; pilots are concerned about safety, and still other like Meg Brookover of Bend want nothing to do with supporting this military application: “I say no, if it’s a military drone, which have killed 750-1000 civians in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I would not support the military drone endeavor.”  Pilot Gary Miller is helping with the Bend Airport Master Plan: “Accident rate with UAV’s is three times that for the regular general aviation.” Bend City Councilor Jodie Barram has several concerns over the Council: “This letter encourages further fringement on private pilots and their right to airspace. I’m not comfortable with that.” Councilor Oran Teater supports drone testing. “I have a nephew that just got back from Afghanistan and thank God, we’ve got these over there ‘cuz it saved his life.”  The FAA will ultimately make the decision, and indications are they will get a lot of input from Central Oregonians.


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