Just in time for the holiday drone season, industry groups and the Federal Aviation Administration have teamed up for a program teaching good drone manners.
“Getting a new unmanned aircraft for the holidays? Stay off the naughty list!” tweeted the FAA as it released the “Know Before You Fly” video.
“Many will be excited when they unwrap the box and find an unmanned aircraft!” the video says with jingling Christmas music. “How do you make sure you stay off the naughty list? We want you to know before you fly. It’s time to have fun with your new unmanned aircraft. But to protect people and other aircraft in the sky, you need to learn to fly safely.”
The video tells amateur drone operators to fly below 400 feet, posting an illustration of the 455-foot Great Pyramid of Giza as a reference.
The FAA adds that drones should be flown within sight, preferably with a local club, and not near airports or stadiums. “Don’t fly for payment or commercial purposes,” the video warns.
The “Know Before You Fly” campaign is sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Small UAV Coalition.
“There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm around UAS, and the technology is becoming the must-have holiday gift,” AUVSI President and CEO Michael Toscano said in a statement. “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.”
“Our 175,000 members are intimately familiar with our safety code, which we take very seriously, but not everyone who buys an unmanned aircraft knows what he or she should and should not do,” said AMA President Bob Brown.
The campaign includes a Know Before You Fly instructional website and a social media campaign with the hashtag #KnowB4UFly.