As the number of people operating small UAVs for fun continues to grow, so does the number of people operating those drones incorrectly.
That’s why the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Small UAV Coalition have teamed up, in partnership with the FAA, to create the ‘Know Before You Fly’ campaign.
The campaign consists of a website—knowbeforeyoufly.org—and a strong social media presence. It’s designed to reach a broad range of people who are already flying or are interested in flying small UAVs, and to teach them how to enjoy the hobby safely.
“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.”
While the digital element represents a large portion of the campaign, it also includes pamphlets that will be distributed at various events, and Toscano said he hopes to work with manufacturers to include ‘Know Before You Fly’ literature in their packaging.
Most small UAV enthusiasts, whether they’ve been flying for years or are just starting out, want to follow the rules and safely enjoy their hobby—they just may not be aware of what those rules actually are, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. Many hobbyists may not realize they’re not supposed to fly their drone above 400 feet, for example, or that they can’t fly within five miles of an airport.
This campaign is designed to change that, providing vital education to ensure people know how to fly their drones safely and responsibly.
“Often people who purchase UAS for recreational use in stores or online are unaware of the existing safety guidelines,” said Michael Drobac, Executive Director of the Small UAV Coalition. “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.”