Minnesota’s Growing Drone Industry

The state of Minnesota has been seeing a growth in the drone sector. While this should bring elation to the drone community, FAA processes and restrictions are said to be frustrating to some drone operators.

An SCTimes report said that in the last 10 weeks, at least 22 drone companies have received federal approval to operate in Minnesota, doubling the state total.[…] Restrictions and outlaws are frustrating some operators in the rapidly growing industry. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, before it releases final rules, commercial operators need an exemption. – Read more at:

Drone operators, like those in the business of providing aerial photo services, find the process of having their applications for drone operation approved slow and tedious. The owner of Eagle Eye Photos in Buffalo operates a Cessna aircraft for aerial photography. After 60-70 hours of working on his application, which he sent in May, Aarestad received an exemption for his drone in August, the report above says.

Clearly, state officials just want to make sure anyone given permit to operate would do so responsibly, hence the advice of Tara Kaler in MnDOT’s Office of Chief Counsel to all operators, commercial or not, to visit KnowBeforeYouFly.org, which educates users about responsible flying.

Meanwhile, also in Minnesota, a drone company is soaring to new heights. StarTribune’s Neil Anthony reported that Minnesota-born civilian drone company has spun out of its former corporate parent and this year made Richfield its world ­headquarters. Sentera may be the largest pure-play drone company in the state and has deep ­industry roots. The 20-employee company also just raised $5 million in expansion capital from a ­private investor. – Read more at:


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