It’s becoming more common for sports teams to utilize the latest technology in their training in the hopes of getting a leg up on the competition. But when the Washington Nationals took to the air this spring training they seemed to upset the heads of Washington, specifically the Federal Aviation Administration.
The team has been utilizing an air drone at their spring training facilities in Viera, Florida in order to photograph the team from above and get a perspective not obtainable any other way. The only problem is they did not run this by the FAA first and have subsequently been asked to bring the drone back Earth.
“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,” a team official told The Associated Press.
The FAA restricts the use of drones for commercial use, despite the team claiming it was used for the benefit of their coaching staff and players. FAA officials say they are still creating rules for the special safety challenges associated with unmanned aircrafts sharing the sky with manned aircrafts. Additionally, the agency is still months away from a final ruling on the use of small drones, which have been deemed to weigh less than 55 pounds.
The Nationals will have to keep their feet on the ground for now. But with the increasing popularity of drones in our technology driven culture, it might not be long before these unmanned aircrafts are common practice with sports teams looking to get an eye from the sky.
(The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)