A drone advocacy group has been set up by DJI, 3DR, Parrot and GoPro. They aim to lobby for policies designed to create innovation and safety, as well as creating regulations for drones that are both practical and responsible.
The Small UAV Coalition is another lobbying group put together by DJI, 3DR, Amazon Prime Air and other people who were interested in creating a safe drone ecosystem. The Coalition was launched in 2014 and has been the primary lobbying group since.
Now it seems like DJI, 3DR, Parrot and GoPro have pulled out of the Coalition as their logos can no longer be found on their member page, which does still include Google, Amazon Prime Air, AirMap, and other interested parties.
The members of this new group issued a statement saying that there are a number of benefits to operating drones in the United States. As such they feel that members of the industry have to work with the people making the policies to ensure that the flying environment is kept safe. They call themselves the Drone Manufacturers Alliance and they believe that creating a regulatory framework would require input from all the major stakeholders. They also say any such framework must recognise the necessity of continuing to innovate new technology, as well as the value of it. They aim to highlight innovation and place an emphasis on education to ensure that drones are integrated into United States airspace in a safe and effective manner.
As the drone market grows, along with the number of companies involved in it, it’s believed that a group like The Small UAV Coalition was just no longer the right group to represent major manufacturers like those in the new Drone Manufacturers Alliance.
While DJI and Parrot are likely to still have their interests aligned with other companies that provide services related to drones or are keen to start delivering with drones, their largest market is the consumer one. The issues with the consumer market are a little different from the issues that the other drone companies in the Small UAV Coalition are going to face.
I don’t thin it is a bad thing for two different organisations that are essentially advocating for the same things though, as long as they don’t start any turf wars that stop issues being discussed. There could even be a benefit to this kind of thing if the Small UAV Coalition switches their focus to commercial drone usage, leaving consumer issues to the Drone Manufacturer Coalition.