Report shows UAS for public safety growing, but facing challenges

Three out of four public safety agencies claim they are already either operating drones or working on implementing a UAS program.

DRONERESPONDERS Analyst Greg Crutsinger, Ph.D., presents data at the 2019 UAS DRONES Disaster Conference in March 2019 in Downey, California.
DRONERESPONDERS Analyst Greg Crutsinger, Ph.D., presents data at the 2019 UAS DRONES Disaster Conference in March 2019 in Downey, California.
DRONERESPONDERS

MIAMI, Fla., - The non-profit public safety UAS advocate group DRONERESPONDERS have released their mid-year report and shows that agencies are embracing unmanned systems in their work, though challenges are still being faced.

Among the key findings that DRONERESPONDERS discovered in their 2019 Mid-Year Public Safety UAS Report:

  • 3 out of 4 public safety agencies claim they are already either operating drones or working on implementing a UAS program.
  • More than 80% of public safety UAS operators either have obtained, or are pursuing, their FAA Part 107 certification.
  • 82% of public safety agencies with UAS program are operating multi-rotor systems, while only 11% are using fixed or delta-wing drones.
  • Over 35% of public safety UAS programs are using the FAA’s LAANC system for airspace requests.

The DRONERESPONDERS data included survey responses from 288 public safety professionals, combined with expert insight from DRONERESPONDERS analysts who work with a variety of stakeholders within the public safety UAS sector on a regular basis. 

While conducting the research, DRONERESPONDERS was able to identify many of the challenges still facing public safety UAS operations. Among them were a lack of standardized training and procedures for public safety remote pilots, a need to continue to adopt professional aviation decision making and risk management standards, improved understanding of operations within the National Airspace System, and greater proficiency at managing UAS data and producing actionable intelligence for incident commanders.

DRONERESPONDERS is offering a complimentary copy of the 2019 Mid-Year Public Safety UAS Report to all DRONERESPONDERS members. There is no-cost for public safety professionals to join the DRONERESPONDERS program. To receive a copy of the report, visit research.droneresponders.org.

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