Deep Dive on Drones

The Intermountain – Taylor Mckinnie

ELKINS — Community members learned how to fly drones and use them for tourism marketing during a two-day drone training class offered by the Highlands Creative Economy Program at the West Virginia Railroad Museum.

The class, held on May 8 and May 9, taught its participants how to operate and fly drones. The class was designed to help businesses and attractions in the tourism industry grow their skills and marketing.

Taught by professionals from National Drones Services, participants were shown the properties and capabilities of drones. The class took place in the West Virginia Railroad Museum, but the participants were also able to practice what they learned outside on the grass of the railyard. Both locations were permitted to be used by the Randolph County Development Authority.

Between 12 and 13 people participated, including members of the community, the forestry service and AmeriCorps. The class was free for all participants due to grant funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

The Highlands Creative Economy Program, a partnership between the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area (AFNHA) and Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, has hosted similar events in the past and would like to host one of these classes every year.