If you’re a regular reader of DroneDJ, you likely know there are numerous benefits that drones can bring to governments, enterprises, and communities alike. But as is the case with any evolving technology, not every state or city is fully prepared to leverage it. One organization that’s making sure that the US is not left behind is AUVSI.
AUVSI, or the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International, has launched a multi-state initiative, called Drone Prepared, to help US lawmakers ensure that their communities are ready to embrace drones for uses such as infrastructure inspections, package delivery, wireless internet, agricultural surveying, search and rescue, firefighting, etc.
According to the FAA, there were 869,000 registered drones in the US as of October 2022, with over 300,000 of those flown commercially. By 2025, it is estimated that there will be 2.49 million operational drones. Naturally, state, local, and tribal governments will play a key role in the growing drone economy.
As Michael Healander, president and CEO at Airspace Link, an AUVSI premium member, explains:
The Drone Prepared campaign provides critical resources for communities to understand the complex, evolving industry and begin preparing in ways that will welcome the industry, and its benefits, to their geographies.
To educate lawmakers at the state, local, and tribal levels about how they can prepare for this increase in drones in a way that brings economic, environmental, and workforce benefits, AUVSI will team up with leaders in the industry, build coalitions with diverse partners, publish research, and provide recommendations on industry-backed solutions.
Adrian Doko, AUVSI Lone Star chapter president and CEO of Imperial Aerial, says:
In Texas, small business owners and large corporations alike are eager to leverage drones and take advantage of the many benefits they provide. AUVSI Lone Star, and our other chapters throughout the nation, look forward to working closely with lawmakers to implement legislation that fosters the continued growth of this exciting industry.
More specifically, during the 2023 legislative sessions, AUVSI will support proposals in states nationwide to achieve drone preparedness that:
- Promotes drone use for public benefit
- Recognizes the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration over airspace navigation and safety
- Leverages existing laws that already address concerns like privacy and trespass
- Promotes technology neutrality
Michael Smitsky, director of government affairs at AUVSI, sums up by saying:
The potential for the expansion of commercial drone operations remains tremendous. We welcome opportunities to share with lawmakers how they can unlock scalable, secure, and sustainable commercial drone operations that will benefit their communities – while maintaining the highest levels of airspace safety and regulatory compliance.