Some exciting news coming from the Drone Racing League (DRL) today. The Federal Aviation Administration has accredited DRL as the first UAS event organizer. In addition, DRL will also participate in FAA’s Partnership for Safety Plan (PSP) program to help the agency establish standardized safety protocols that all individuals and organizations would be required to follow while conducting drone demonstrations, air shows, exhibitions, and events in front of a live audience.
Essentially, the NYC-headquartered DRL is going to be the FAA’s right hand in evaluating drone safety procedures and technology – helping the agency to develop and implement official US drone event safety guidelines, and educating the drone community on drone safety.
DRL says this first-of-its-kind FAA accreditation is a nod to the safety leadership the professional drone racing property has displayed consistently. In 2016, DRL worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) to develop, standardize, and share drone racing safety protocols with the community. More recently, the league became a member of Commercial Drone Alliance, an organization focused on moving safe and responsible drone integration forward.
Also, at its high-speed drone races – which often take place in public spaces such as stadiums, landmarks, and museums – DRL adheres to stringent safety protocols. These include tech-controls to terminate drones mid-flight; netting to protect pilots, crew, and fans from drones; and course closures to ensure nobody is near the drones while they are in the air.
Fans can expect the same safety process to be followed during the upcoming DRL Vegas Championship Race as well. Culminating the 2021-22 DRL World Championship Season, the live-audience event will take place outside of T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip on January 5, 2022.
DRL is also known to promote drone safety through various channels, including digital content and gaming integrations. For example, the DRL United States Air Force FPV 101 video series on Twitter not only introduces fans to the world of drone racing but also provides safety tips and advice. Meanwhile, the DRL SIM game comes with an in-depth flight training module, teaching players how to safely level up their drone skills.
The league has also been supporting the FAA’s drone safety awareness initiatives, speaking on panels, and promoting national drone-operation rules to inspire safe flying within the drone industry.
As DRL COO Ashley Ellefson sums up:
We look forward to sharing our expertise in drone-event safety more widely with the industry and continue to work with venue organizers to curate safe and spectacular drone racing experiences through the most unique and incredible spaces.
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