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Thu, Mar 28, 2024

FAA Preps for Drone Safety Day on April 27th

Yearly Event Builds Momentum in Nascent UAV Industry

The FAA is accepting registrations from event operators to be part of its Annual Drone Safety Day, inviting stakeholders to bring more awareness to safe and proper UAV operation in the US.

The event even offers a free (well, taxpayer-funded, so essentially free) 2024 Drone Safety Day Playbook, with pre-made flier designs to kickstart any advertising. This year, the DSD is taking a broad scope approach to safety, given its relative youth in the annual events stack - instead of honing on any one particular safety aspect or issue, the FAA will "highlight the societal, economic, and safety benefits of safe drone operations" as a whole. They note that total drone ownership in the country is steadily approaching 1 million aircraft, with more than 330,000 certified remote pilots.

As such they want to get their hooks into enthusiasts, hobbyists, and students early, to keep them in the system of flying legal. That's been pretty beneficial to those in the hobby and industry so far, providing a somewhat lenient regulatory attitude and some attempts to keep costs on the affordable side. (A remote pilot cert will set you back a couple hundred bucks, while nobody seems interested in the difficulty of finding $1,500 for PPL students looking for their checkride alone. While costs are increasing on the UAV side, there hasn't been the same doting affection towards crewed operations, nobody is going to bat to create more DPE's and lower checkride costs these days.) The Playbook offers a few ideas, like presentations by public works or corporate flight departments showing how they use UAVs at work, prepping attendees to take the Part 107 Knowledge Test, or host a drone flying event for the uninitiated. Future events will probably draw on some of the categories advertised as good starts this year, like Education, Economics, Equity, Environment, and Emergencies. 

For planners, the FAA has all the regulatory boxes to check listed in an easy list inside the Playbook, allowing everyone to announce and publicize their activity via preexisting entities like the FAASTeam DronePro group or a similar Community Based Organization.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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