If there is anything recent news has taught us, it’s that a basic understanding of drone regulations can’t be taken for granted. (Yes, we’re referring once again to the shaming National Transport Safety Board report on the collision between a drone and a Black Hawk helicopter.) In that context, DJI’s announcement that they are introducing a pre-flight knowledge quiz for all UK drone operators is welcome news.
“The new DJI Knowledge Quiz will require drone pilots in the UK to correctly answer a series of basic questions about safe drone use before their first flights,” says the DJI announcement. “The questions will appear in DJI GO 4, DJI’s main flight app, which runs on smartphones and tablets connected to drone remote controllers.”
The UK government plans to introduce a safety awareness test for drone users in 2018.
“The vast majority of drone pilots fly safely and responsibly, but with drone usage bound to increase substantially in the coming years, new enthusiasts will use our technology”, said Christian Struwe, Head of European Public Policy at DJI. “Governments, aviation authorities and drone manufacturers agree that we need to work together to ensure that all drone pilots know basic safety rules”.
Tim Johnson, Policy Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Anyone operating a drone must do so responsibly and observe all relevant rules and regulations. The rules for flying drones are designed to keep all airspace users safe. We welcome any initiative that reinforces the importance of safe and responsible drone use.”
DJI expects to expand the program to other countries soon. “All DJI pilots will be presented with a list of eight questions and must correctly answer all of them in order to be able to fly. Pilots can continue answering new questions until they successfully pass the DJI Knowledge Quiz,” says the announcement. “DJI launched the quiz in the United States earlier this year backed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It will be expanded to other countries in the near future, using questions customised for each country’s rules and guidelines.”
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.