Drone Safety Campaign to Avoid Chaos in the Air

By CIOReview | Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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FREMONT, CA: Drone industry officials are launching a safety campaign in collaboration with the government and model aircraft hobbyists. The reason behind this initiative is the alarming rise of encounters between drones and manned aircraft which if left unchecked could lead to catastrophe.

Through this campaign, the recreational and commercial drone operators are advised of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and informed about the measures to ensure safe flying of the unmanned aircrafts. A website called ‘www.knowbeforeyoufly.com’ has been created to assist in learning more about safety measures involved in flying drones.

Some of the recent close calls are mentioned below:

A helicopter belonging to New York Police Department had a close shave with a drone; a regional airliner flying at about 10,000 feet reported seeing at least one drone flying less than 500 feet above the plane; another regional airliner reported to have spotted a large bird-sized drone at a distance of 500 feet to 1,000 feet from the plane’s right side during a landing approach to runway 4 of the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina; Ben Berman working as an airline captain for Boeing 737 reckons that the current situation is ‘out of control,’ reports Joan Lowy from PHYS ORG.

The awareness campaign for flying drones was announced by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Small UAV Coalition in partnership with FAA.

With the price of the drones going down and the increasing interest among the people for recreational and commercial activities, managing national airspace system can be a herculean task especially when the drone operators and flyers have no aviation history, background or knowledge.  

"This is an issue of growing concern," said Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator. "The price of unmanned aircraft has come down and this newer and more powerful technology is more affordable to more people, yet many are not familiar with the rules of flying."

"An education campaign on Amazon.com is not adequate," said Berman. "Yes, if my aircraft goes down and we are mourning something strong will happen, but we can't allow that to happen to me or anybody else."