Murfreesboro to start Drone Training

We first heard about drones in times of war, but now drones equipped with cameras have quickly become an American household hobby.

In a park where you may notice a bird or the occasional flying disc, the city of Murfreesboro will begin drone training this week.

“We had a criminal escape recently and the whole school had to go on a code red ,” said resident Fisher Holland, “I think the drones would help out a lot with that.”

The city said searches in difficult areas are one way a drone could help. But for the most part they want it for routine mapping, like for GPS updating and aerial views for the water department.

“There will be some uses that we have that will keep us from having to use an airplane in most cases,” said Murfreesboro city spokesperson Mike Browning.

Staff said if they no longer have to contract aircraft services that could save the city time and money.

If the training goes well they could loan the drone, or unmanned aircraft system, to the fire department.

“Fire suppression ability would be able to see better in the location where they’re fighting the fire,” Browning said.

Or they could use it to check out electrical towers without putting workers in harm’s way.

People around town seem interested but mixed on the idea.

“I think it definitely has a lot of potential to be something good,” said Nicole Woodruff.

“I don’t really trust machinery like that,” Adam Robinson said.

A city IT employee who is FAA certified will pilot the drone during training at Barfield Crescent Park starting Wednesday. For the several weeks of training the drone will not leave the airspace above the park. The FAA allows it to fly up to 400 feet from the ground.

Some residents believe this may just be the way of the future.

“There’s always something new in Murfreesboro going on,” said Conner Wolfe.

Both the city and the FAA will have to approve the program before it can become operational within city limits.


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