Small UAV Coalition Launched to Advance the Commercial Use of UAVs

On October 1st, several technology companies formally announced the formation of the Small UAV Coalition to help pave the way for  commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the United States and abroad. Chief among the organization’s goals is to advance a regulatory environment that will support safe, reliable, and timely operation of small UAVs.

Founding members of the Small UAV Coalition are (in alphabetical order): 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, Google[x]’s Project Wing, GoPro, and Parrot. The Coalition is supported by a team of experienced attorneys at  Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

“Small unmanned aerial vehicles will yield tremendous benefits to consumers in so many exciting and practical ways,” said Michael Drobac, executive director of the Small  UAV Coalition and senior advisor at Akin Gump. “Small UAVs can be utilized for stunning aerial photography, surveying and mapping, advances in precision agriculture, consumer delivery, disaster management, journalism, and to monitor flare stacks and gas pipelines. In addition, the Small UAV Coalition will continue to support safe recreational enjoyment of UAVs for hobbyists and enthusiasts.”

“The Small UAV Coalition believes safe commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small UAVs will benefit the lives of consumers and promote U.S. competitiveness,” said Drobac. “We look forward to working with the FAA, FCC, the Administration and Congress to ensure this industry can flourish.” Small UAVs weigh under 55 pounds and typically fly at an altitude of less than 400 feet AGL. These highly maneuverable, energy-efficient devices operate on rechargeable batteries and are equipped with the latest in safety features. They can be flown by a remote operator or an automated program in the UAV.