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FAA Supporting Drone Industry's Safety Campaign

Timed for the holiday gift-giving season, "Know Before You Fly" seeks to promote safe, responsible flying of unmanned aircraft systems.

Three unmanned aircraft systems industry and hobbyist groups -- the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Academy of Model Aeronautics, and the Small UAV Coalition – launched a "Know Before You Fly" educational campaign in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration on Dec. 22. It offers a video and other information about safe operations and best practices for recreational or commercial use of drones.

"The ease of acquiring UAS technology has led to a proliferation of unmanned flights, some of which are authorized and some of which are not. When it comes to unauthorized flights, many well-meaning individuals and prospective business operators want to fly and fly safely, but they don't realize that, just because you can buy a UAS doesn't mean you can fly it anywhere, or for any purpose," the campaign's news release states.

"There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm around UAS, and the technology is becoming the must-have holiday gift," said Michael Toscano, president and CEO of AUVSI. "The 'Know Before You Fly' campaign fills a critical education gap just in time for the holiday season. We want to ensure that all prospective operators have the tools they need to fly safely and responsibly."

"AMA's members have been flying model aircraft safely for nearly 80 years, and we want to take this opportunity to share our expertise with people who are new to the technology," said Bob Brown, Academy of Model Aeronautics president. "Our 175,000 members are intimately familiar with our safety code, which we take very seriously, but not everyone who buys an unmanned aircraft knows what he or she should and should not do. Flying model aircraft is a fun and educational experience. We want to ensure it's done as safely as possible."

The campaign will work with manufacturers and distributors to inform consumers and businesses about what they need to know before operating an unmanned aircraft.

"We are proud to be partnering with AUVSI, AMA and the Small UAV Coalition in spreading the word about ways to fly safely and responsibly," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "We often say that safety is a shared responsibility. The 'Know Before You Fly' campaign allows us to harness the resources and expertise of industry as we strive to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world."

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