With their outreach efforts, AOPA is bridging the gap between the manned aircraft and drone communities – working towards safe integration of drones into the national airspace (NAS). In addition to advocacy work, AOPA provides an impressive library of resources for new pilots – starting with their online guide to certification. The Guide clarifies the process, providing necessary links including the certification standards, study guides, training course and sample test. There is even a checklist for applicants to ensure that they’ve completed all of the right steps.
“Drone Minute” is a series of video shorts covering training topics like safety, insurance, and drone operations. “Seminars to Go” gives speakers at local educational events a keynote presentation and powerpoint on drone related topics; and the Drone Pilot Newsletter provides up-to-date news and information for the drone community.
In addition to training and information, AOPA is putting the strength of their network behind commercial drone pilots. Through a relationship with Droners.io, pilots can find jobs: a “Pilot Protection Services” plan gives drone pilots access to legal services. Additionally, relationships with training schools and drone expos offer discounts to AOPA members.
As the network of drone pilots grows to match and exceed the number of manned aircraft pilots, the resources available to drone pilots is growing too. AOPA offers a way for drone pilots to get access to some of the benefits that have developed over decades for the manned aircraft community.
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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