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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Mar 6th, 2018)

Drones could help remove garbage from a polluted fjord in Norway. Environmentalists have voiced concerns about a buildup of trash on the seabed of the 62-mile-long Oslo Fjord. The Oslo Port Authority has approved a plan to deploy drones beneath the fjord's surface and track down large accumulations of trash. A ship with a crane would help remove the garbage from the waterway. The cleanup could start this spring. - NYT

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About 20 flights were forced to delay their landings after a pilot spotted a drone at Auckland Airport. Aircraft operations were delayed for 30 minutes following Tuesday's drone sighting. One flight from Japan diverted to refuel at nearby Ohakea Air Base before returning to Auckland, reports said. The pilot of a Q300 aircraft reported the drone to air traffic controllers, who alerted police. A police spokesperson said a helicopter failed to locate the drone, which was reported in the Whitford area of New Zealand. - NZHERALD

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Flock, a London-based startup, has launched a smartphone app that sells on-demand insurance to commercial drone operators. Flock Cover offers "pay as you fly" insurance policies for drone operators in the United Kingdom. The app offers insurance quotes based on algorithms that assess risk in the localized flight area, SUAS News reported. The app uses data to assess safety risks in the area. According to reports, prices begin at about $7 for eight hours of liability and hull coverage. The aviation insurer Allianz underwrites Flockā€™s insurance policies. In the future, the company plans to introduce on-demand insurance for recreational drone pilots. - DRONELIFE

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Skyguide and AirMap plan to introduce a drone traffic management system in Switzerland, which would be Europe's first. The "U-space" will help enable drone flights in a shared airspace. While not a member of the European Union, Switzerland's skies fall under the rules of the EU Aviation Safety Agency. The U-space will be the agency's first deployment of an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) initiative. Swiss-based Skyguide is an air navigation service provider, and California-based AirMap is an airspace management platform for drones. The entities plan to launch a pilot phase of the system in June. - THE REGISTER

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The DJI Mavic Pro is selling for $769 on Amazon, the lowest price reported since the drone was released in 2016. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $999. The Pro is now $30 less than the new DJI Mavic Air, which has similar specs. The Pro has a longer battery life, while the Air is smaller and lighter than its predecessor. - THE VERGE

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