What’s a NOTAM? What’s class E airspace? Where can I legally fly my drone?
The Federal Aviation Administration answered some of the most common (and yes, uncommon) questions asked in the drone industry, and made those answers public through a series of free drone webinars, now available for the public to watch through YouTube.
The FAA launched their free drone webinar series in April 2019, and while the webinars were originally conducted live (accepting live questions and answers from online participants), the archive is now viewable online for you to watch at your own convenience. The YouTube archive is neatly organized, with videos broken down into manageable increments (some videos are just a view minutes long), making it more feasible to watch the videos on-the-go or between errands.
But it’s a little-known resource, as most of the videos have fewer than 5,000 views (that’s small considering that, as of April 2019 there were more than 350,000 commercial drones operating in the U.S.).
The drone webinars discuss topics like NOTAMS, Class E airspace and the LAANC program. They’re also a great way to learn answers to tricky questions in the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate exam, as many of the topics addressed in the webinar relate to questions on the test (passing the Part 107 test is a requirement to be able to operate a drone commercially in the U.S.).
Here are some of the webinars currently available in the FAA library:
- Deconstructing NOTAMs: How do they Affect Drone Operations?
- Where am I? How to Identify what Airspace you are Operating in
- What is Class E Airspace and how do I Operate in it?
- Drone Operations over People
You can access the complete library of FAA free drone webinars here.
The FAA says it will continue to offer more live webinars through 2019. To find out more, you can sign up for updates directly from the FAA here (note: this is a U.S. government website).
The FAA has made a number of efforts to educate the public around drones. The industry has been plagued by a number of “bad actors,” whether intentionally bad or not, who have caused trouble by flying places they shouldn’t be, which can lead to unintentional consequences such as White House hullabaloo or even airport shutdowns. The FAA’s educational efforts have ranged from the kid-friendly “Buzzy The Drone” cartoon character, to working with private companies to fill gaps in their own work, such as partnering with Kittyhawk to rebuild their “B4UFly” app.