Veterans of the drone industry and large corporations interested in using drones have formed a new drone advocacy group. The independent and non-profit Commercial Drone Alliance will focus on lawmaker education and changing public perception, a press release says.
The association “is dedicated to supporting enterprise end-users interested in adopting drone technology and enabling commercial market growth,” says the release. While drones represent one of the fastest growing sectors in technology, the statement says, lawmaker education is crucial: “In its most recent aviation forecast, the FAA predicted that sales of drones for commercial purposes are expected to grow from 600,000 this year to more than 2.7 million by 2020. However, skepticism and fundamental misunderstandings have led to efforts to stunt the growth of this industry.”
The statement makes it clear that the purpose of the group is to fight for drone friendly regulation, a need that has been highlighted by recent spats in both House and Senate over the drone safety portions of the 2016 FAA Reauthorization Act. In addition, recent attempts at state and local drone regulation have contributed to growing industry concerns that the US industry will suffer due to overly restrictive policies.
“The Alliance will focus on educating lawmakers on the benefits of commercial drones, changing the conversation about the technology to shape positive public perception, overcoming public policy hurdles that suppress growth, highlighting value propositions for end users, coordinating consensus-based standards development, and drafting policy based on technology and innovation,” says the group’s statement.
The group will include stakeholders from all aspects of the drone industry, including business end users, manufacturers, investors, services providers and other groups who have “demonstrated a passion and commitment for growing the commercial drone industry in a way that promotes safety and security.”
“We’re excited to work with and for this community and focus on the challenges inhibiting drone technology adoption. The enthusiasm of our members and partners from all parts of this ecosystem is what is going to advance our goals to success,” stated Alliance co-executive director Gretchen West.
Shortly following the announcement, Drone World Expo said in a press release that they had formed a partnership with the Alliance. “The Alliance is an industry-led, independent and non-profit association dedicated to supporting enterprise end-users interested in adopting drone technology and enabling commercial market growth, which is in-line with the mission of Drone World Expo, so it’s only natural that we would select DWE as our official event,” stated Alliance co-executive director Gretchen West.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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