FAA Hosts the 3rd National Drone Awareness Safety Week (NDSAW)

While drones have been a part of the public and commercial domain for nearly 10 years now, they are still a newly emerging industry. As the demand for drones has increased, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has had to quickly write new regulations to ensure drones are safely incorporated into shared air space. True, there have been incidents in which drones have caused havoc, had accidents, or been used for nefarious purposes outside of the realms of FAA regulations. But, these incidents are far and few between. What has been made abundantly clear over the last few years is that the majority of ways in which drones are used are highly beneficial.

Most of the regulations governing drone use are pretty straightforward and rely on common sense practices. To help enforce these regulations, inform the public of how to best use drones, and encourage the continued growth of the drone market, the FAA hosts a National Drone Awareness Safety Week (NDSAW). The FAA’s 3rd annual NDSAW was held this past September 13-19. To comply with the social distancing needs of a post pandemic world, the 2021 NDSAW was entirely virtual, and all of the presentations are permanently available for viewing online at Dronesafetyawarenessweek.com, as well as 2020’s presentations.

NDSAW is hosted by the FAA but is orchestrated and presented by The Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team (UAST). As explained on the previously mentioned website, UAST “is an industry-government partnership committed to ensuring the safe operations of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace system. The UAST supports the safe integration of UAS with data-driven safety enhancements and collaboration among members of the UAS industry.” For this year’s NDSAW, UAST put together a series of short videos from drone industry leaders. Each day of the week was dedicated to a specific educational drone topic. The lineup was as follows; Monday: Safe Flyers Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST), Tuesday: Register and Mark Your Drone, Wednesday: Become a Part of a Flying Community, Thursday: New Rules – Remote Identification and Operations Over People, Friday: Public Safety & Public Acceptance, and finally, Saturday and Sunday: Share the Skies – Get Out and Fly.

Perhaps one of the most anticipated presentations was the Thursday video covering remote identification and operations over people. As this is one of the FAA’s newest regulation changes, a lot of people are still confused as to what this means for the world of drones. Unmanned Aircraft Systems Coordinator Kevin Morris from the FAA gave a detailed interview as to how these regulations would affect drone operators and the public. The interview was filled with a lot of information, but Kevin’s closing remarks were perhaps the most important message he relayed.

Kevin, and his colleagues working on drone regulations, understand that since drones are relatively new, they come with a lot of confusion. Kevin’s interview was hosted by Keith of Alien Drones, a popular YouTuber dedicated to the promotion of the drone industry. In Kevin’s final remarks to Keith, he said, “I would say to anybody that’s following your channel, or listening, if you have questions, we’re here to answer them. We are not a government agency that’s unreachable and untouchable. It’s very easy to get a hold of us…We can get you connected with the people in the FAA that you really need to talk to so you can get the right answers. So if you ever hear something out there that just doesn’t seem right, or you’re wondering ‘Now why would the FFA ever do that’, don’t sit and wonder, and don’t go on message boards trying to figure it out. Reach out to us.”

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