Three major consumer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturers, as well as GoPro, recently left the Small UAV Coalition and have now established their own group, the Drone Manufacturers Alliance.
Kara Calvert, director of the new alliance, says the group “will serve as the voice for drone manufacturers and [its] customers across civilian, governmental, recreational, commercial, nonprofit and public-safety applications.”
“We will advocate for policies that promote innovation and safety and create a practical and responsible regulatory framework,” she explains.
“There are significant economic and social benefits to drone operations in the U.S., and industry must work with policymakers to ensure a safe environment for flying. The Drone Manufacturers Alliance believes a carefully balanced regulatory framework requires input from all stakeholders and must recognize the value and necessity of continued technological innovation. By highlighting innovation and emphasizing education, we intend to work with policymakers to ensure drones continue to be safely integrated into the national airspace,” Calvert continues.
Supported by law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the Small UAV Coalition was first established in 2014. GoPro, DJI, 3DR and Parrot were all founding members, along with Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, and Google[x]’s Project Wing. Other members have included DroneDeploy, EHang, Hazon Solutions, Sky-Futures and Skyward.
The USA Today report says GoPro, DJI, 3DR and Parrot, when leaving the Small UAV Coalition, planned to establish their own spin-off focused more on topics concerning small consumer drones.
The coalition’s members are now AirMap, which provides airspace information for UAV operators; Amazon Prime Air, the drone-delivery initiative of Amazon; Google[x], Google’s Project Wing drone-delivery project; Intel, which has invested in UAV companies such as Airware, Yuneec and PrecisionHawk; Kespry, which provides a commercial-grade UAV solution; terrestrial data acquisition and analysis company PrecisionHawk; and Verizon Ventures, which has invested in companies such as Skyward and presented at November’s Drone World Expo. Associate members are Strat Aero PLC, AGI, Botlink, Zero Tech and Flirtey.