President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao today launched the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, an initiative to test drone operations including night flights, flights over people and flying drones beyond visual line of sight.
While light on details, the announcement of the program could be a gamechanger for how and when drones are integrated into the U.S. airspace on a large scale.
The FAA currently bans a variety of advanced drone operations, including those mentioned above, without a waiver of exemption, which has frustrated companies who feel their business is being stifled by the rules.
“If you are wanting to do drone operations beyond the normal part 107, this appears that the FAA will be moving the direction to allow more of the complex and difficult types of operations many of us have been wanting,” drone attorney Jonathan Rupprecht wrote in a blog post.
The new Drone Integration Pilot Program is calling for prospective local government participant to partner with the private sector to develop pilot proposals.
From those proposals, the U.S. Department of Transportation will select at least five groups to join its pilot program. Continue reading Trump calls for private companies, local governments to show him how to regulate drones
The key to a successful drone delivery service isn’t necessarily using the fanciest, most expensive drone. It’s not necessarily the ability to fly hundreds of miles on a single battery. It’s also not necessarily the ability to carry tons of weight.
The key to a successful drone delivery service is mastering the process.
“The process is more important than the technology,” said Patrick Meier, co-founder of humanitarian drone group WeRobotics. “The workflows and standard operating procedures, preventative maintenance strategies are so key.”
WeRobotics, which has been testing delivery drones for humanitarian aid in Peru, today released a highly detailed report on cargo drones, which they are making free to the public — something rare for the highly secretive drone delivery business. Continue reading The one quality every successful drone delivery service must have
Calling all drone pilots in Tokyo, Japan!
DJI will open its first DJI Area in Tokyo this Saturday. The 5,759-square food arena will go by the name “DJI Arena By JDRONE Tokyo,” and will include a flying arena, retail store and technical support space. Continue reading DJI is opening a drone arena in Tokyo, Japan
High school students who love drones — here’s a drone scholarship you need to take advantage of.
*Pssst!* Scroll down to the bottom of this post to get $50 off any Drone Pilot Ground School course!
Drone Pilot Ground School launched the High School STEM Scholarship for Aspiring Commercial Drone Pilots. The scholarship provides free access to Drone Pilot Ground School for eligible high school students who are at least 16 years old. The scholarship will also pay for Part 107 test fees for the first 100 students to take the test. The Part 107 test fee is typically $150.
The Part 107 test is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, and every pilot who operates a drone commercially needs to have passed it in order to obtain a license.
“We know the drone industry has the potential for creating new jobs for young people, and can help students get excited about STEM subjects,” said Perlman. “Providing a scholarship to interested, qualified high school students just seemed like a natural outgrowth of the support we’ve given the students at Taft High.” Continue reading There’s a drone scholarship for high school students. Here’s how you can win it
Know how to build a human-carrying drone or jetpack? Boeing will pay you $2 million to make it happen.
Boeing is the primary sponsor in GoFly, a two-year, international contest to build a “personal flying device” capable of Vertical Takeoff and Landing that can fly twenty miles and carry a person.
In other words: a drone or a jetpack.
“What we are seeking is an “everyone” personal flying device, capable of being flown by ANYONE, ANYWHERE. It should be a device for ALL: young and old, city-dweller and country-dweller, expert and novice,” according to the rules. Continue reading Boeing will pay you $2 million if you can build a human-carrying drone or jetpack
Stop flying your drones over the California fires and subsequent devastation. Why?
Here’s the short answer: the U.S. government says so.
And here’s the long answer:
A large amount of space in the Napa area is currently under a NOTAM, including airspace over Napa, Santa Rosa and Petaluma. A NOTAM is short for notice to airmen, and is something filed by the FAA to alert pilots of hazards in areas they are flying in.
Under the restrictions of those NOTAMs, “no pilots may operate an aircraft in the areas covered by this NOTAM.”
The NOTAMS are effective through Nov. 13 “to provide a safe environment for fire fighting aircraft operations,” according to the text of the NOTAMs. Continue reading Stop flying drones over the California fires. It’s probably illegal
The drone community (well, some key members at least) has a message for President Donald Trump: give more power to state and local governments to experiment with ways of integrating drones, but don’t compromise the FAA’s sovereignty of the national airspace.
More than two dozen drone-related companies and organizations signed a controversial letter addressed to Trump this week calling for a pilot program to get input from states and municipalities to develop policy on UAS operations.
The letter was signed by delivery stakeholders such as Amazon, Fedex and UPS, manufacturers such as GoPro and DJI, and other organizations including AOPA and AUVSI.
“A pilot program would allow for a data-driven process, within a controlled operational environment, to explore the best options for states and municipalities to address their needs, as it relates to different types of UAS operations,” according to the letter. Continue reading Drone community to Donald Trump: give more power to local governments to develop drone operation policies
DJI’s newest camera, the DJI Zenmuse X7, is blowing all other camera drones out of the water.
The Chinese dronemaker, which sprung to fame for its ready to fly, GoPro-carrying drone, the Phantom, today announced the DJI Zenmuse X7.
It’s a Super 35 digital film camera optimized for professional aerial cinematography, designed to work with the DJI Inspire 2 drone.
The Drone Girl hinted at the Zenmuse X7’s launch last month when we interviewed Hollywood filmmaker Phil Pastuhov, but it’s finally here. Continue reading DJI Zenmuse X7: this is the 6k camera all filmmakers need