The Drone Manufacturers Alliance, (DMA) the organization representing manufacturers of the majority of civilian drones, has published a statement in support of the recent Alliance for System Safety in UAS Research Excellence (ASSURE) study estimating the results of drone collisions with larger aircraft.
Although study results were somewhat inconclusive – demonstrating that the damage caused would vary depending upon variables like the type of drone and the speed of the airplane – the results did conclude that small drones would cause small damage. With consumer and prosumer drone manufacturer DJI providing about 70% of all registered commercial drones, that’s good news for both the manufacturers and the industry. “Smaller drones such as those made by DMA’s members would cause less damage than larger drones, and airplanes flying at relatively slow speeds, as they do in the low altitudes where most drones operate, would also suffer less damage,” the DMA statement points out. “DMA’s members stand ready to assist ASSURE in its ongoing drone safety research.”
“Drones have an admirable safety record and this research confirms they can continue to safely share the skies with traditional aircraft,” said Kara Calvert, Director of the Drone Manufacturers Alliance. “Drone pilots have shown they want to fly carefully and stay out of the way of manned aircraft. Drone manufacturers are working hard to ensure we integrate advanced safety features like geofencing, which is a key conclusion of the report. We also look forward to working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), ASSURE, and manned aircraft manufacturers to continue developing new solutions to minimize risks to airplanes.”
The DMA says that the study will help manufacturers to understand the potential impacts of a drone collisions and continue to improve their designs in accordance with those findings, and to work with regulators to ensure that safety requirements are met. “…DMA members believe smart regulations and laws are key to helping drones continue to safely share the skies with airplanes and helicopters.”
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made clear that drones are good for the country and can be safely integrated into American airspace, and has encouraged safe and responsible recreational drone use as well,” says the DMA statement.