Drones are the big thing right now; and their use raises questions of safety as well as law. To cite just one example, the dramatic video we shared yesterday was, according to a CNN report, shot with a drone that flew above FAA height limitations.
Now the Consumer Electronics Association is helping bring attention to a drone safety campaign. The campaign is called “Know Before You Fly” and is aimed at operators of unmanned aircraft systems information and guidance to fly safely and responsibly. CEA said the effort is led by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Small UAV Coalition in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration. The campaign includes a website, educational video, point-of-sale materials and a digital and social media campaign. The social tag is #KnowB4UFly.
Stated CEA President/CEO Gary Shapiro, “We look forward to working with the FAA as it provides timely, innovation-friendly regulatory guidance.” The association feels drones will create new businesses and jobs and give consumers “unprecedented remote access to our skies.” Its International CES convention this week features an Unmanned Systems Marketplace with 15 UAV companies.
The association believes the global market for consumer UAVs will approach $130 million in revenue in 2015, increasing by more than 50 percent from 2014; with unit sales of consumer UAS expected to approach 425,000, an increase of 65 percent. “Including the accompanying services, the market for drones could easily exceed $1 billion in just five years’ time,” it stated.
In the announcement, Michael Drobac of the Small UAV Coalition was quoted saying, “Many consumers are looking to buy them for personal use. And, many different industries — from agriculture and oil and gas to the movie industry and real estate — are also looking to use the technology. But often times people are unaware of the existing safety guidelines.”