July 25, 2012
TILLAMOOK, Ore. – Experimental flights of unmanned aircraft at Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon coast scheduled for July 26-27 have been postponed.
The flights were postponed due to complications in securing federal authorization to make the flights, according to project coordinator Lindsay Adrean of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
A team of researchers from Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida had planned to fly a 54” “drone” aircraft around Haystack Rock near Pacific City in an attempt to use the aircraft to photograph double-crested cormorants. Cormorants are a type of seabird ODFW is monitoring on the Oregon coast.
ODFW is looking into the feasibility of using unmanned aircraft in wildlife surveys. However, under aviation rules, drone aircraft are not allowed to fly outside of restricted airspace without a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to get a FAA waiver in time to fly this week,” said Adrean. She said ODFW will pursue a Certificate of Authorization from FAA and attempt to proceed with the experimental flights at some point in the future.