DJI, 3DR, Parrot, and GoPro – the four big names in the world of drone manufacturers – are forming an advocacy group to lobby for a practical regulatory framework that ensures drones are “safely integrated into the national airspace.”
The companies were members of the Small UAV Coalition, which was created in 2014 as the main lobbying group for drones. Its members, which include the likes of Intel, Google [X], and Amazon Prime Air, aimed to “remove the regulatory hurdles that impede small UAV development, sales, job creation, and services.”
But the four drone manufacturers have now split from the Small UAV Coalition to form the Drone Manufacturers Alliance.
“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 members of the new alliance said in a statement.
“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.”
The new alliance didn’t say what prompted its members to leave the Small UAV Coalition, but it’s speculated that a combination of inactivity and less focus on the consumer market meant the drone manufacturers believed their interests would be better represented by forming their own advocacy group.
Having two separate organizations lobbying for better drone laws should help all UAV owners, especially with one of the groups seemingly dedicated to the issues faced in the commercial drone market.
In December, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that pilots of consumer drones must register the aircraft with the agency. The criminal penalty for failing to do so can include fines of up to $250,000 and three years imprisonment.