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FAA Allows Drones To Fly At Bergen County Community College

Bergen’s main campus in Paramus photographed from a hobbyist’s drone.
Bergen’s main campus in Paramus photographed from a hobbyist’s drone. Photo Credit: Larry Hlavenka

PARAMUS, N.J. -- The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Bergen Community College clearance to operate drones, making it one of only three community colleges to receive such an exemption from the federal government.

The exemption will allow the College to enter the U.S. National Airspace System and offer educational programs featuring the operation of the popular technology.

“Unmanned aerial vehicles represent a technological revolution, but one that remains in its infancy,” Bergen Vice President of Academic Affairs William Mullaney, Ph.D., said in a statement. “With the exemption granted by the FAA, Bergen is positioned at the forefront of this revolution, offering an opportunity for students, and the region as a whole, to study cutting-edge robotics that very few institutions of higher education currently possess."

College officials first sought permission from the federal government in June, petitioning the FAA to operate drones for the purpose of photography and videography – the principal interests of most professional drone users and hobbyists.

Bergen will now leverage the exemption through offering credit and non-credit coursework – including training programs for newsgathering and law enforcement agencies seeking proficiency in using the technology.

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