Township police department to seek FAA approval for use of drone
The Salisbury Township Police Department is seeing approval for use of a drone.
“A letter to the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] is required for the use of our drone,” Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles said during the Aug. 9 meeting workshop.
Commissioners agreed to send a letter to the FAA to request approval for use of the drone by the township police department.
“It’s not just for the benefit of the police department,” said Stiles. “It can be used for surveillance. It can be used for someone who is lost. The fire departments in the township can use it.”
“Have you had any incidents?” Board of Commissioners’ President Robert Martucci, Jr. asked.
“No,” replied Stiles.
By consensus, commissioners agreed to have a letter drafted with a motion for a vote on sending the letter to the FAA about use of the drone expected to be on an upcoming commissioners’ meeting agenda.
The Lehigh Valley International Airport control tower must be notified when the drone is in use.
The township police department has a drone, which has been flown for demonstration purposes.
The FAA requires registration of drones that weigh a minimum of 0.55 of a pound.
Commercial drone users must be age 17 or older, pass a test, operate a drone in daylight hours, and be able to see the drone when he or she flies it.
Non-hobby, commercial, and government employees (which includes police and fire department personnel) drone operators must register under the FAA Part 107 Rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA).
According to the FAA web site, “COA is an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization to a public operator for a specific UA [Unmanned Aircraft} activity.
“After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. If necessary, provisions or limitations may be imposed as part of the approval to ensure the UA can operate safely with other airspace users.
“In most cases, FAA will provide a formal response within 60 days from the time a completed application is submitted,” states the FAA web site.
At the Aug. 9 meeting, commissioners voted unanimously 5-0 to:
Award the Lindberg Park Phase 3 Electrical Bid received July 25 to MJF Electrical Contracting Inc, Feasterville-Trevose, Bucks County, for $59,735. “This was part of the original bid, but we tweaked it,” Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich said prior to the vote. “Who’s going to do the work?” Ackerman asked. “It will be done by the general contractor,” said Bonaskiewich. Commissioner Joanne Ackerman moved to bring the motion to a vote, seconded by Commissioner James Seagreaves.
Approve Change Order No. 1 for Lindberg Park Phase 3 Contracted Work by Kobalt Construction, Inc., Swiftwater, Monroe County, for an additional $20,500. Seagreaves moved to bring the motion to a vote, seconded by Commissioner Rodney Conn.
Approve Payment No. 1 to Kobalt Construction for Lindberg Park Phase 4 Contracted Work for $9,000. Prior to the vote, township resident Robert Agonis asked about the progress of the work. Salisbury Township Director of Public Works John Andreas said that the work that has begun is in preparation for construction of the Pickleball Court. Conn moved to bring the motion to a vote, seconded by Ackerman.
Accept the resignation of Kreg Ulery from the Salisbury Township Environmental Advisory Council. Ulery was EAC chair. “Life has taken a turn for him and he’s too busy to devote the necessary time,” Bonaskiewich said prior to the vote. “I was on the EAC and he will be missed,” said Conn. “He’s a wealth of knowledge,” said Ackerman, who had served on the EAC. “Working with him was an absolute pleasure,” said Salisbury Township Director of Planning and Zoning Cynthia Sopka, who is on the EAC. “But he’s always welcome to visit.” Conn moved to bring the motion to a vote, seconded by Board of Commissioners Vice President Brinton.
The commissioners held an executive session for personnel matters after the meeting.