FAA & Warren UAS Offer Drone Safety & Awareness Event

The event, to be held April 27-29 on the Warren Washington campus for the FAA’s eastern region, will highlight Drone Safety Day, which the FAA marks each year in April to encourage proper operation of drones By Caroline Rees / 05 Apr 2023
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Warren UAS, the unmanned systems program at Warren County Community College in New Jersey, are teaming up for a three-day program to introduce the public to the fast-growing field of drone flight and to promote proper training and safe use of unmanned aircraft.

The event, to be held April 27-29 on the Warren Washington campus for the FAA’s eastern region, will highlight Drone Safety Day, which the FAA marks each year in April to encourage proper operation of drones.

College officials designed the event to introduce the public to its offerings and provide a platform for information about the technology to be exchanged, including from FAA experts.

“This is a great opportunity for the public and people in the industry to come together and exchange fundamental information and new thinking about drones. Both experts and people hoping to gain familiarity with drones will be able to learn from the experts at the FAA and our staff about the latest technology and training available,” said Will Austin, president of Warren who is on sabbatical to further build the UAS program and pursue private funding related to the college’s growth. “There will be a major emphasis on safe use of drones, which is a priority for us and the FAA.”

Warren’s UAS department has grown dramatically in the last few years, and two new facilities have been developed on campus to house the program, including the new Dr. Joseph Warren Robotics Research Center, and the latest drone technology is being acquired continually. 

According to the FAA, unmanned aviation is now the fastest growing segment of the aviation industry with nearly 900,000 aircraft now registered with the agency. About 530,000 were listed for recreational purposes and 338,000 for commercial use.

The FAA is keeping up with the evolving industry by continually offering guidance about the technology and its regulations through its Droning On educational outreach program, and the Drone Safety Day, according to Alina George, project manager, which will be celebrated as part of the Warren event.

The free event on the Warren campus will run 09:00-16:00 each day. The first day focuses on education, the second day on public safety and local government, and the third day is open to the general public to gather information and see demonstrations. Drone demonstrations will happen each day.

Register and find more information here>

Thursday, April 27: Education Day

  • Learn about post-secondary schools with UAS programs
  • Information on careers in drones
  • Tools for educators
  • Hands on activities

Friday, April 28: Public Service Day

  • Public safety training
  • Panels on rules and regulations
  • Government best practices and resources

Saturday, April 2 : Fun Day

  • Fly a drone
  • Drone simulators
  • Racing

Will Austin noted that a number of vendors, along with colleges and other training providers, will be on site, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the country’s leading aeronautical university, which has worked with Warren on a number of projects and often enrolls Warren graduates to complete further studies.

Embry-Riddle offers Bachelor of Science and graduate studies in unmanned aircraft systems, equipping students with the knowledge and skills to seek employment in a wide variety of related fields, including as professional UAS pilots, sensor operators, project managers and field technicians. 

“We are proud to partner with Warren to produce the best trained UAS technicians and operators in the world,” said David Thirtyacre, chief pilot in the university’s Department of Flight. “We are committed to bringing professional aviation standards to the UAS world and pride ourselves on safe, effective operations. ERAU and Warren work closely together to establish the highest level of standards in the industry, and we are happy to be involved in this event.”

Alina George noted that the event’s programming includes demonstrations and information sessions on public safety, career opportunities, The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST), and other important aspects of drone ownership and operations.

“It is intended to meet the need of an industry that is beginning to touch many other businesses and organizations,” said Rick Breitenfeldt, an FAA spokesperson. “To put this into context, there are more than three times as many registered unmanned aircraft as registered traditional aircraft. By 2026, we forecast that there could be up to 2.66 million commercial and recreational drones and more than 361,000 certificated remote pilots.”

He noted that Drone Safety Day, which is held throughout the country annually, “gives the agency a chance to help the drone community understand the importance of flying safely”.

“Drone Safety Day will highlight the societal, economic, and safety benefits of safe drone operations with events in focus areas such as education, economics, equity, environment, and emergencies,” he added. “This is a great opportunity for businesses, schools, and organizations to share how they use drones, as well as kick off new safety initiatives. For drone enthusiasts, this is an opportunity to share their passion with your friends, family, and local community.”

Breitenfeldt noted that the FAA also is making significant progress enabling Beyond Visual Line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) operations through rules rather than individual waivers and exemptions, which will more efficiently enable advanced drone operations. He said flying drones over populated areas, which is regulated both under the FAA’s Small Drone Rule and through FAA-recognized Community Based Organization Safety Guidelines, will also likely be a topic of discussion.

For its part, Warren will showcase the college’s nationally recognized Uncrewed Systems Program, which teaches flying, building, maintenance, and repair of drones, as well as AI and robotics. It offers both certification and degrees in various aspects of drone design, maintenance, and operations.

The college’s programming will focus on drone careers, education, and ways to enjoy the technology as a hobbyist. It will also include other aviation and unmanned technology such as hot air balloons and robots, showcased at both the college and nearby Warren County Technical School. 

Breitenfeldt said that safe operations will be a primary theme for the agency during the program. The FAA encourages those using drones to follow the acronym ‘Fly RIGHT’ in connection with safe and legal drone use:

Register your drone 

  • All drones not flown for recreational purposes must be registered, regardless of weight. 
  • Drones flown recreationally must be registered if they weigh more than 250 grams. Register your drone through the FAA DroneZone.

Interact with others  

  • Join a local organization or FAA-recognized Community Based Organization.
  • Engage in online forums.

Gain knowledge  

  • Learn about drone safety and rules.  
  • Check the airspace prior to takeoff through the B4UFLY app or an FAA-Approved LAANC UAS Service Supplier.

Have a safety plan  

  • Don’t assume the flight will go as planned. 
  • Know what to do if the weather changes or other aircraft or people get close.
  • Check your drone pre- and post-flight to ensure it is safe to fly.
  • Ensure you have approval to fly in controlled airspace through an FAA-Approved LAANC UAS Service Supplier or the FAA DroneZone.

TRUST and Train  

  • Recreational flyers only need to pass TRUST once, prior to flying. It is the law.
  • You may take the free online test through any of the FAA approved test administrators.
Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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