Nevada Drone Industry Soaring
Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), are aircrafts that are controlled and piloted remotely i.e. there is no human pilot on board. Some operate like remote-controlled airplanes, flown by a pilot on the ground and others can be pre-programmed to fly autonomously based on a flight plan and destination.
The drone industry is growing rapidly. This market which was valued at $609 million less than two years ago is now projected to hit $12 billion in 2021. The demand for drones has always ranked high for military and defense operations but the growth of this industry really took off as drones became a popular consumer device in 2015, selling well over a million units and now the market is expected to soar in the commercial sector as regulations open up and the variety of diverse applications rise such as for agriculture, package delivery, safety and security, imaging and surveying, 3D mapping, border patrol and a whole host of other applications. In fact a drone has already delivered a package to a residential area outside of Reno, Nevada using GPS in what is said to be the “first fully autonomous, federally approved urban drone delivery in the United States.” As it turns out, the global drone industry is expanding and Nevada is actually a hot bed for drone manufacturing, testing, research and development.
Drone Injuries, Safety and Regulation
Due to the fast pace of drone adoption, drone manufacturers and software providers are moving quickly to develop technologies to help make drone flying safer. The growth of this industry is also pushing governments to create laws and safety regulations. Although most drones are flown like remote-controlled airplanes, they are certainly not toys. If flown recklessly or without the proper education and training, drones could cause severe injury, such as what occurred last June to Enrique Iglesias during his concert in Mexico and here in the states where a drone crashed nearby a mother and her 11-month-old baby in Pasadena, CA, causing injuries to the child who required hospitalization. It is also common for drones to be used to capture sporting and other events from the air and a near miss with a world champion skier competing in a slalom race in Italy was another example of the dangers and potential injuries that could occur if drones are not flown correctly.
Regulating drones has now become a serious issue throughout the country, especially since a Connecticut teenager posted video of a drone shooting a handgun in the woods. Weaponized drones have definitely played a role in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ramping up drone education and regulation.
Nevada Drone Laws
Nevada Lawmakers passed dozens of new drone laws in 2015, regulating commercial and recreational drones and the FAA has instituted safety guidelines to help educate users of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), mainly for hobby and/or recreational purposes, about the safety and responsibility behind operating these aircraft systems. In addition, the FAA has partnered with various drone industry associations to promote the Know Before You Fly campaign, providing UAS users and prospective users with the information and guidance they need to fly safely and responsibly.
For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, visit the FAA’s site on Unmanned Aircraft System. To learn more about individual state laws and regulations, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures page regarding UAVs.