Safe UAV and drone operation is a priority for the fast-growing multirotor industry. UAVs and multirotors are increasingly available online and offline, offering commercial, philanthropic and civil uses. In 2014 alone, about one million drones were sold worldwide for recreational and commercial use; sales this year are expected to go beyond that. However, this rapid influx has raised some red flags on drone safety -- or the lack thereof. Each month, the FAA receives approximately 25 reports from pilots who have seen drones near manned aircraft, causing pilots to alter their course. As strong proponents of drone safety, GPC encourages UAV enthusiasts to fly carefully and responsibly by following these simple rules, provided by the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

  • Follow community-based safety guidlines as prescribed by organizations including the Academy of Model Aeronautics, AUVSI and Small UAV Coalition.

  • Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.

  • Keep your sUAS in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.

  • Remain clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations. You must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.

  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected people or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.

  • Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport.

  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.

  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.

  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.

  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.

  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in ares where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual's permission (see AMA's privacy policy).

  • Drones should not be equipped with weapons