Emergency Drone Pilot Directory Under Development

By Mike Ball / 05 May 2021

Emergency drone pilot

The Airborne International Response Team (AIRT) has begun the development of a global, geo-referenced database of public safety unmanned aerial systems (UAS) programs and emergency response remote pilots. The new project was announced during the 2021 AUVSI XPONENTIAL Online conference.

Registration in the database will be open to public safety agencies and emergency services organizations who are either developing or have an active UAS program, as well as individual remote pilots who have the skills and capabilities to respond in complex emergencies. U.S-based public safety UAS teams and individual remote pilots who register under the AIRT/DRONERSPONDERS program will have the option of requesting inclusion in the Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS), the inventory resource tool distributed by FEMA and used by emergency managers for identifying potential resources for incident response.

The project, conducted in direct partnership with Esri, will expand upon work previously initiated by Brandon Karr, a national sUAS subject matter expert for public safety applications. Karr started the project after identifying the need to map the locations of law enforcement, fire/EMS, industry, non-governmental organizations, and federal programs that could provide mutual assistance to other jurisdictions. Karr has now transferred the project over to DRONERESPONDERS, where he will serve as the project manager overseeing the initiative.

According to Karr, the ability of GIS to capture, analyze and display data makes it an ideal platform for identifying where public safety drone programs are located, and which geographic locations they can service. However, not every public safety agency has an active drone program, and those that do may not always have resources available for deployment. Due to this, AIRT is simultaneously launching a second initiative that will identify the location of individual remote pilots who possess the ability to respond to emergencies and disasters.

The organization will soon deploy Esri ArcGIS Dashboards and geo-referenced ArcGIS StoryMaps that illustrate the quantity and location of registered emergency drone assets around the world. The close working relationship that AIRT and DRONERESPONDERS have developed with the Esri Partner and Public Safety teams has enabled the expansion of Karr’s original project, along with the rapid deployment of the new remote pilot tracking component that AIRT is launching.

Brandon Karr commented: “There is an incredible need for a comprehensive geo-referenced directory of public safety drone programs to help facilitate information sharing, training, and mutual assistance. Working with AIRT, DRONERESPONDERS, and the Esri public safety team will help us increase the reach of this initiative around the globe.”

Christopher Todd, Executive Director of AIRT, said: “DRONERESPONDERS will mark the home base and capabilities of the public safety UAS teams, and our AIRT GIS team will track the location of individual remote pilots with the proper experience and equipment to assist during emergencies. Within a few months, I expect we should have a database highlighting the World’s Largest Air Force® of geo-referenced, unmanned aviation assets for emergency response operations.”

“This initiative is a combined team effort to make positive impacts and ultimately save lives. We invite other partners to join this project and help us illustrate the true potential of Drones For Good on a global scale.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact