Called “Know Before You Fly,” the campaign is being spearheaded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Small UAV Coalition, in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Why? The ease of acquiring unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology has led to a proliferation of unmanned flights, some of which are authorized and some of which are not, the organizers said in a teleconference today.
“There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm around UAS, and the technology is becoming the must-have holiday gift,” said Michael Toscano, President and CEO of AUVSI. “The ‘Know Before You Fly’ campaign fills a critical education gap just in time for the holiday season. We want to ensure that all prospective operators have the tools they need to fly safely and responsibly.”
When it comes to unauthorized flights, many well-meaning individuals and prospective business operators want to fly and fly safely, but they don’t realize that just because you can buy a UAS doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere or for any purpose, campaign organizers explained. “Often people who purchase UAS for recreational use in stores or online are unaware of the existing safety guidelines," said the Small UAV Coalition’s Michael Drobac. "Our hope is that this campaign will make that information more accessible to the legions of flyers taking to the skies, ensuring safety for all aircraft, both manned and unmanned.”
The new campaign plans to team up with manufacturers and distributors to inform consumers and businesses about what they need to know before taking to the skies. The campaign includes a website, educational video, point-of-sale materials, and a digital and social media campaign to ensure that prospective operators have the information and guidance on what they need to know before they fly a UAS. For more information, visit www.knowbeforeyoufly.org.
“We are proud to be partnering with AUVSI, AMA and the Small UAV Coalition in spreading the word about ways to fly safely and responsibly,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "We often say that safety is a shared responsibility. The ‘Know Before You Fly’ campaign allows us to harness the resources and expertise of industry as we strive to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.”
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents more than 7,500 members from 60-plus allied countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets. For more information, go to www.auvsi.org.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is the premier community-based organization in the United States for model aviation enthusiasts. With 175,000 members, the AMA is dedicated to the advancement and safeguarding of modeling activities. The AMA provides leadership, organization, competition, protection, representation, education and scientific/technical development to the model aviation community. For more information, go to www.modelaircraft.org.
About Small UAV Coalition
The Small UAV Coalition advocates for law and policy changes to permit the operation of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) beyond the line of sight, with varying degrees of autonomy, for commercial, civil and philanthropic purposes. Its members include the leading manufacturers, operators and service providers of small UAVs. For more information, go to www.smalluavcoalition.org.
About the FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration is committed to providing the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. The agency is executing a plan for safe and staged integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System. For more information, go to www.faa.gov/UAS.