According to its most recent analysis on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) data on possible drone sightings by manned aircraft pilots, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has reported a month-over-month drop in the statistics since last August.
AMA’s analysis on the FAA’s previous data was released last September. AMA said there were 764 possible sighting recorded from Nov. 13, 2014, to Aug. 20, 2015; now, it cites 582 from Aug. 21, 2015 through Jan. 31, 2016.
The group partially attributes the drop in sightings to the continued push on education for safe drone flying, including the Know Before You Fly campaign, which was founded by AMA and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
As it did in its September report, AMA says the FAA’s latest number of “‘near misses’ and ‘close calls’ is a small percentage of the overall data set.” In addition, it says many sightings “may involve people flying responsibly and within current guidelines.” In fact, the group says it identified 38 sightings where the unmanned aircraft was operating below 400 feet.
AMA also notes that several sightings were not definitively reported as drones and may have been other objects: e.g, balloons and birds.
“As we found in our first analysis, the FAA’s drone data continues to be a ‘catch all’ for any object spotted in the sky. And once again, consistent with AMA’s prior findings, only 3.3 percent of the drone reports in the FAA’s latest dataset contained explicit notations indicating near misses or close calls,” AMA explains in a blog.
The full analysis can be found here.