IAAPA 2017: Obama advisor talks challenges and rewards for drone use in attractions

Former White House advisor Lisa Ellman has laid out the opportunities drones can offer US attractions, also discussing rules and regulations and how to navigate such challenges.

With rapidly changing technology for unmanned aircraft systems making them smarter, more capable and more affordable, drones are increasingly being put to work with success across industry.

Ellman, now a partner for law firm Hogan Lovells, chairs the firm's Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice, a group dedicated to helping businesses succeed in the drone marketplace. She has held a variety of positions at top levels of the executive branch at the White House and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Most recently, under the Obama administration, she worked on drone policy, helping to integrate the national airspace in terms of bringing drones into the equation.

Drone Safety

“The technology has moved so quickly forward that what used to be considered a toy is now a tool of industry,” said Ellman, speaking during the IAAPA Expo taking place in Orlando, Florida.

“Their uses are really limited only by our imagination. While that’s incredibly exciting, it also presents a number of challenges on the public policy front, and as policy catches up, drones are really taking off.”

According to Ellman, 2017 has been the “year of drone security”, with the government looking to expand drone operations beyond that which is currently authorised for better commercial use. This legislation has been held up by national security agencies however because drone use would enhance without relevant security policy keeping pace, remote identification of drones being a key part of the discussion.

“Remote identification is very important,” said Ellman. “Is that a news gathering drone flying over my theme park? Is that a hobbyist? Is that a criminal? We’re worried about the careless, the clueless and the criminal. Remote identification can address that. It’s the key to expanding drone operation and moving it forward and it’s key for those of us worried about security so we know who is flying over our amusement park.”

Another issue for attractions operators is public use of drones in operations such as theme parks. While the law is currently restrictive, these issues will likely be addressed soon, says Ellman.

“In an amusement park scenario, I want to be able to keep others out of my airspace. A hobbyist thinks it would be fun to fly near my ferris wheel. What can you do to keep them away?” she said.

“You can jam a drone by taking down it’s signal. Drones can catch other drones with a net. You can takeover a drone using a computer. There are even eagles being trained to take out drones.

“However, right now, the status quo means there’s not a lot you can legally do. You can passively identify, detect and track a drone but you can’t take it down because a drone is currently considered an aircraft. Those laws will likely be changed over time but that’s where things are.”

Drone Management

While not much can be done to stop drones right now, Ellman suggests attractions develop a protocol for handling incidents involving the devices.

“Facility owners should create a drone toolkit,” she said. “Your employees need to know what they should do when they spot a rogue drone. The key is being able to enforce the law on the backhand.

“Right now it’s all about evidence gathering – give your employees a list of questions that they should be answering as they gather evidence when something like this occurs. Know what the federal and local laws are for drones in your area and give them contact information for your local Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regional operation centre, they are the ones who should be coordinating with local law enforcement.”

Drone Use

Under the Trump administration, last month a new programme was announced addressing drone use for commercial purposes, something that could provide a major boost to the industry.

Called the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Programme, the scheme asks all stakeholders involved — pilots, private citizens, local authorities, park officials and others for their ideas on regulations for drones.

“The idea is that states and localities can apply to participate in the pilot programme and they would partner with industry for commercial projects,” said Ellman.

“Whatever it might be, whatever the benefit, it’s all about the data and how it can enhance safety and efficiency. A lot of those benefits require breaking rules – flying over people, flying at night, flying out of sight for example. Under the new scheme, the idea is there will be many waivers to do lots of different things and create a hub of innovation across the country – petri dishes of innovation. Give a town an opportunity to provide services outside the scope of current rules.”

Legislation

The majority of US states are currently considering legislation that would limit or prohibit drone use in some way, says Ellman. Lots of states have enacted such legislation while others are adopting resolutions to such issues.

“There was recently a case that saw a ban on drone use in a community,” she said. “The question was asked if that was legal and the answer was no, because it fell under FAA legislation.

“Right now there's a bunch of working groups, the drone advisory committee, different pathfinders – essentially all of the industry – working with the government to provide new data.

“The key is bringing policy makers together. Innovation is moving so quickly but policy is also key, particularly around safety and privacy. There are a lot of open questions right now in regards to regulation. Bringing policymakers together with innovators will mean we can craft solutions for this industry in order to move forward.”

Check back with Attractions Management and AM2 during the week for all the latest breaking news from IAAPA 2017

Lisa Ellman  visitor attractions  drones  theme parks  amusement parks  technology 
Related stories

IAAPA supporting Give Kids the World at 2017 expo

IAAPA Foundation announces events for Orlando expo

Bob Rogers reveals lineup for 2017 IAAPA Legends Panel

FEATURE: Show preview – IAAPA Attractions Expo

Former White House advisor Lisa Ellman has laid out the opportunities drones can offer US attractions, also discussing rules and regulations and how to navigate such challenges. With rapidly changing technology for unmanned aircraft systems making them smarter, more capable and more affordable, drones are increasingly being put to work with success across industry. Ellman, now a partner for law firm Hogan Lovells, chairs the firm's Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice,
TAW,VAT,PHR,TEC,PUB
Drone use is currently difficult on a commercial level thanks to various US laws and regulations in regards to airspace
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6723     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6723     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Marriott’s Moxy Times Square opened in late 2017
"Millennials are investing more in experiences versus physical things"

How millennial travellers are transforming hotel design

The design team took inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s, while adding contemporary touches
Linda Boronkay grew up in Budapest. Her father was an architect and her mother was an antiques dealer and collector
"Nick Jones and I are both passionate about design. When we see the same thing twice, it bores us. It’s risky but interesting creatively"

At the end of a very busy year for Soho House, the group’s design director talks us through her plans

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek was a defining project
Mary Bowman studied at the University of Virginia and the Architectural Association
"Marina One was quite special in the degree of integration between the landscaping and architecture "

The Gustafson Porter + Bowman partner on the landscape projects changing the face of our cities

features
"Now we’re talking about pedestrians as the most important members of the street community"

The new US neighbourhood designed to improve the health of its residents

The light-filled atrium at the Museo Internacional del Barroco in Mexico
Toyo Ito was born in Seoul in 1941. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo
"I have one dream with my work. Architecture should equal nature"

The Pritzker Prize-winner talks about inspiration, battling bureaucracy and the Tokyo National Olympic Stadium saga with Kim Megson

Mori’s design for the airy visitor centre of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York
Born in Kobe, Japan and later growing up in New York, Mori has become a trailblazer for women in architecture around the world
"Every decision you make, you should think seven generations ahead"

From a compressed earth cultural centre in Senegal to the sleek Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Mori’s work shares a clarity of purpose

featured supplier
Featured Supplier: EXF supports Third Space to create London’s largest functional training space at The Yard
Bespoke fitness manufacturer EXF has extended its relationship with Third Space, by supplying the luxury fitness group with London’s largest functional training rig at its Canary Wharf club.
cladkit product news
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
cladkit product news
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates