Drone Safety Week Highlights Need for More Action
The popularity of drones continues to grow at a fast pace as folks find new ways to harness this powerful and beneficial technology. More and more companies are finding great utility in using drones to take on burdensome and potentially risky tasks normally performed by workers.
For example, our industry has found great value in using drones to perform safety inspections, conduct air monitoring and conduct perimeter and site surveillance – just to name a few.
It should come as no surprise then that the number of drones in our skies has grown over the years. According to the FAA, there almost 900,000 registered in the U.S. and that number is only expected to continue to climb higher for both commercial and recreational purposes.
With the growing number and uses of drones comes new potential risks and responsibilities, which is why the FAA’s Drone Safety Awareness Week can be so helpful. The campaign puts a much needed spotlight on safety issues and provides some useful flying practices for operators to follow.
The FAA’s campaign is effort in helping keeping our skies safe but more work is certainly needed, especially when it comes to drones and protecting critical infrastructure – including chemical facilities. The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has recognized that drones can pose a very real threat to our nation’s infrastructure and that action is needed by the FAA.
That is why ACC joined with a coalition of industry groups to send a letter to the FAA urging the agency to follow through on the direction of Congress and finish an important drone safety rule. The new rule would create a process to establish airspace restrictions for drones when it comes operating near critical infrastructure and sensitive sites. As it stands now, the rule is several years overdue, which is forcing the country to rely on a patchwork of state laws to address the threat.
To help keep our skies safe and drones flying responsibly, we support the FAA’s drone safety awareness campaign. And as we mark the very somber milestone of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we urge the FAA to do its part to help protect the country’s critical infrastructure from a potential drone-related attack and finish its rule without any further delay.