With thousands of drones given as holiday gifts this year, more untested operators may create a mass safety risk in the sky, according to Darrell Slaughter, director of business development at Phoenix-based Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU).
Slaughter says that UAVs were sold at “record-setting levels” this year – many of which went to “people unfamiliar with aviation rules and regulations.”
“We, the administrators at Unmanned Vehicle University, want new drone operators to know that numerous hours of ground school training and practice are needed in order to operate and fly drones safely and efficiently,” he explains.
UVU says it is the first university in the world licensed to grant doctorate and masters degrees in unmanned (air, ground, sea and space) systems engineering, as well as a certificate in UAS project management as an online curriculum.
‘The drone industry cannot afford any mishaps at any time, especially at this stage in the industry's lifecycle,’ Slaughter says.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently partnered with key UAV groups to introduce the “Know Before You Fly” educational campaign, an initiative designed to give users guidance about responsibly operating small UAVs.