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Interior Department Takes to the Skies With Drones

Many in the broadcast industry and federal agencies are trying to figure out the best way to begin utilizing unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones, but the Interior Department may have a step up on all of them.

WASHINGTON—Many in the broadcast industry and federal agencies are trying to figure out the best way to begin utilizing unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones, but the Interior Department may have a step up on all of them.

Serving as a steward of 500 million acres of federal land across the U.S., the Interior Department currently has a fleet of nearly 250 drones that are being used for things such as disaster response, search and rescue, and monitoring natural occurrences like wildfires, avalanches and volcanoes.

Nextgov recently sat down with Mark Bathrick, director of the Interior Department’s Office of Aviation Services to discuss their current use of drones. The full Q&A can be viewed here.

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