One of the drone sector’s top industry groups is one step closer to launching a best-practices/code-of-conduct program for UAV pilots.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International appointed a steering committee this week to develop the Trusted Operator Program for remote pilots and unmanned aircraft systems training organizations. The working group will also serve as brand ambassadors for the industry. AUVSI is the largest trade association for the unmanned systems and robotics industry, including drones.
Launched in November, TOP is designed to normalize best practices and a code of conduct for drone pilots – a process which is common among most trade groups.
“There is no other organization that can drive and support the UAS industry with such a critical initiative than AUVSI,” AUVSI CEO Brian Wynne said in a press release. “As more commercial UAS pilots are trained and certified, they will join the aviation community’s long-standing culture and commitment to safe and reliable performance.”
TOP stems from meetings in 2017 of the group’s Remote Pilots Council. The council discussed the growing need for “higher levels of professionalism through consistent training” and ways for FAA-licensed commercial pilots to “further distinguish themselves in the market.”
“There is an urgent need to unify the remote pilot community and remote pilot training providers to facilitate a recognized guide for training protocols, best practices and conduct. This will support reliability, safety, professionalism and trust in the UAS industry. The training protocols that are envisioned for the TOP will lead to many benefits, such as a commitment to safety, lower insurance premiums and helping advance regulations that permit expanded operations, including flying at night, over people, and beyond line of sight.”
Earlier this year, AUVSI lobbied the federal government to catch up with the quickly-evolving industry with common-sense regulation that recognizes the pace of drone innovation across the industry.
“We are at the dawn of a new American renaissance in aviation and technology, one that deserves government attention and support to help it reach its full potential,” wrote Wynne in The Hill.