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Drone sales expected to 'take flight'

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

Spectacular. That's just one way to describe images recorded by tiny, unmanned aircraft systems known as drones.

"They're a very popular ticket, anywhere from the DJI Phantom model to the unique 3DR, and of course to our simple toy quad copters," said Cory Burright, manager of Drones Plus in Chandler.  

Drones come in all shapes and all sizes.

"A lot of the news media is stating that they do predict a million of these sold this year," Burright said. 

Everyone wants one because drones have dominated headlines this year.They're credited with capturing aerial shots of Nepal following a catastrophic earthquake.Now, retailers like Amazon and Walmart are exploring the idea of using drones to actually deliver packages.

They're no doubt an intriguing item that even big name retailers may have difficulty keeping on the shelves. Corey Halka is a manager at a Best Buy store in the Valley.

"I think you're going to see a huge increase in sales before Black Friday," Halka said. 

Drones are sophisticated and extremely intelligent, thanks to their software.

So how much do drones cost? They run from $100 to well over $1,200, depending on what you want to get on it. Although they are pretty cool to fly, keep in mind there are a lot of safety and privacy concerns that come with them.

First of all, if you plan on buying a drone for nothing more than recreational purposes, you will soon have to register it. In fact, right now the federal government is working on a registration system to handle the influx of drones that are expected to be flying, and the guidelines may not stop there. The federal government is considering adding even more regulations that could be announced soon. 

"The FAA is looking into setting these parameters sometime from the middle of this November to the middle of December," Burright said. 

There are privacy concerns as well. Dan Barr is a Phoenix attorney who said drones may be new technology but the same privacy laws still apply.

"You can't go fly it over your neighbor’s house, a private area, and look into that area," Barr said.  

Who is going to police and enforce these privacy laws? It's a question that worries many, but for now we're all entering the drone era.

"It's a tool that can be used for a lot of good things as well, obviously," Barr said. "It can be used to take photos of events, people use them for real-estate purposes, or people use them just to have fun, and that's perfectly fine."

We're going to be hearing a lot more about drones in the coming months, especially since the government is going to announce its registration policy. For additional information about drones, visit the following websites:  



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