El Paso County looking for bids to get into the drone age

Like many other public agencies across the country, El Paso County is moving forward with plans to use drones to save time and money on government work. County officials aren’t sure exactly what roles the devices will play, although they have a myriad options. Local governments in Colorado are using drones for an array of purposes, from making sure stormwater drainage systems are properly functioning to digitally preserving crime scenes.

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aircraft, are remotely piloted, often equipped with cameras, that can be as small as hummingbirds or as large as a commercial jets. The technology has been used to drop missiles on suspected terrorists in the Middle East, assess the health of waterways and wildlife and even deliver purchases to Amazon customers.

The county is expected to choose a contractor for “unmanned aircraft services” late this month or early May, said Commissioner Stan VanderWerf,

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