Voting members of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) overwhelmingly approved a new aerial imaging membership category for those collecting aerial images for crop-sensing, precision agriculture or other related purposes. Additionally, a Precision Agriculture Committee has been established as a new advisory committee to NAAA’s board of directors.
This new category and committee were created in response to the marked growth of aerial imaging for the more precise and judicious application of pesticides, fertilizers and other crop, forestry and public health inputs, such as variable rate applications.
“NAAA’s new aerial imaging category allows the association to further embrace new technologies to augment the environmental professionalism and stewardship of the aerial application industry,” said NAAA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Moore. “Aerial imaging is a great way for aerial application operations to diversify their services and NAAA now provides a forum in this space for these types of operations to share technology and professional flying techniques to better ensure environmental safety and aviation safety in low-altitude airspace.”
Any individual or company using manned aircraft, satellites or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to produce aerial images for crop-sensing, precision agriculture or other related purposes, and that possess the necessary FAA operating certificates to conduct such work, may qualify as an aerial imaging member. The new aerial imaging category is a non-voting membership category, but aerial imaging members will be able to choose a single board director who will have one vote on the NAAA board as the Aerial Imaging Director. The Aerial Imaging Director also will serve on NAAA’s new Precision Agriculture Committee.
Augmenting membership categories and resources directed to the association will empower NAAA to better provide the industry with a variety of benefits and services in the precision application space, which focuses on providing exact doses of products only where needed to ensure crop health. Precision application provides economic benefits to the grower and environmental benefits for all.