NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Hydrex Environmental has been conducting wetland and geological studies for 25 years, but it’s Drone Division came about in only the last five. Like all drone operators, it must follow the rules set by the Federal Aviation Administration.
"For the past five years they've been trying to catch with the drone technology," said Drone Division coordinator John Chapman.
And doing a good job of regulating drone safety, says John Chapman, the Drone Division coordinator at Hydrex. The FAA is conducting its first-ever Drone Safety Awareness Week during the week of Nov. 4. According to the agency, the drone registration website has been visited by more than 10,000 users in the past month.
When it comes to regulation in Texas it’s all about privacy.
"They don't want unauthorized access. They want to protect the landowner's rights," shared Chapman.
It’s an issue Hydrex general manager Clayton Collier sees surfacing elsewhere in his line of work.
“This week we’re doing jobs in Arkansas, Louisiana, and in Texas. On a month to month basis we’re working in nine different states,” said Collier.
Both men respect drone regulations which Texas state senators will examine before the next legislative session set for 2021. They are encouraged that state senators are instructed to review regulations in a manner that promotes commerce while protecting the property rights of Texans.
"I think they're well aware that this is a viable part of many companies' business and anything with land there is an opportunity to use drones," expressed Collier.
Chapman noted one area that might be worth review.
"The issue for us is logistics. What is the logistics of getting permission, how is that enforced, how is that even kept record of."
An evolving technology may be up for some rule improvements, but according to Collier, “if the regulations are going to be so strict that it’s going to hinder us, then that’s going to be a step in the wrong direction.”