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AUVSI Releases UAV Code of Conduct

By Carlton Purvis

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of unmanned systems, hopes to encourage “safety, professionalism, and respect,” in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry with an Unmanned Aircraft System Operations Industry “Code of Conduct” released on Monday.

The code of conduct is “a set of guidelines to provide AUVSI members--and those who design, test and operate UAS for public and civil use--with recommendations for their safe, non-intrusive operation,” says a press release distributed by the organization. AUVSI has more than 7,000 members from 55 countries and 2,500 organizations.

The code of conduct includes "common sense" guidelines that require operators be properly trained, follow all federal, state, and local, laws, and respect the privacy of individuals. It is voluntary for current and future members of the association. 

“With a commitment to safety, professionalism and respect, we can ensure unmanned aircraft are integrated responsibly into civil airspace,” said Michael Toscano, AUVSI president & CEO.

Market analysts predict the use of UAVs will continue to rise as more agencies become interested and parts cost less.

“Favorable conditions stemming from recent conflicts in the Middle East, as well as the ongoing need for homeland security, are expected to increase industry revenue at an annualized rate of 11.5 percent during the five years to 2012,” according to a  press release distributed last week by IBISWorld, a market research company. “At the same time, firms in the industry have benefited from reduced operating costs in the form of falling prices for semiconductors and electronic components.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is  looking for ways to expedite the integration of UAVs in the National Airspace. Earlier this year, it announced a new online process for agencies to obtain authorization to fly UAVs domestically. It has also created a process to obtain one-time authorization for time sensitive operations like natural disasters or emergencies. Additionally, regular authorization periods were extended from 12 months to 24.

"The FAA is still in the early stages of determining the rules that will govern UAS in the National Airspace, a process that will unfold over the next several years. As the rules are written and as UAS are more fully integrated into the U.S. airspace, we’ll periodically review the code to determine if future adjustments are needed. As this technology expands, it is our goal to ensure that the benefits of UAS are realized in a safe and responsible manner," said AUVSI spokeswoman Melanie Hinton.

Read the full code of conduct here.


NZ Defence Force photo/flickr

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