FRISCO — Drone retailers are bracing for significant sales this holiday season as the federal government is working quickly to regulate the diminutive remote-controlled aircraft.
Don Garland, owner of the Drones Plus shop in Frisco, is hoping to cash in on on the boom.
“I came out of the software technology world and left there, and really because I was just fascinated with drones,” he said.
Garland has launched what he claims is the only dedicated drone retailer in the State of Texas.
Don Garland has launched what he believes to be the only retailer in Texas specializing in the tiny quadcopters.
It’s an emerging technology that has drawn the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration, which expects 700,000 new drones in U.S. airspace this holiday season.
The quadcopters can fly fast at high altitudes while capturing high definition photos and video. That’s precisely why the federal government is working quickly to regulate the burgeoning industry.
“I’m pretty excited about the possibility of getting some FAA oversight,” Garland said. “Right now, there has been some improper use that has been exploited.”
Over the weekend, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced he has received recommendations from a special task forced created to help guide the new regulations. He said they are working quickly to establish policy for drone registration.
“I think that the FAA regulations should actually help the business and not hurt the business,” Garland said. “If anything, there is going to be the need for more education and more training.”
But if you’re not looking to sell that HD footage from your new drone, you have a bit more leeway with where you can fly. As long as the copter rises less than 400 feet, it’s within your direct view and you don’t fly within five miles of an airport you’re good to go.
As the FAA works to integrate drones into the airspace, Don Garland hopes to be one of the flagship retailers.