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Manufacturing giant DJI has announced the launch of the Alliance for Drone Innovation (ADI), an effort to broaden the support for the goals of the former Drone Manufacturers Alliance originally formed 2 years ago by 3DR, GoPro, DJI and Parrot.

The new organization will address the same issues – but the coalition has now expanded to include suppliers and software developers of both personal and professional drones “as well as the innovative Americans who fly them for recreational, artistic, and business purposes,” says the Alliance.

Led by Jenny Rosenberg, former Department of Transportation Acting Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, the group’s focus is on legislative and regulatory activity: matters of critical importance right now to stakeholders in the recreational drone industry.  Recent arguments over the repeal of Section 336 in the next FAA Authorization package – a move which would grant the FAA broad authority to impose laws for recreational drones – could threaten the growth of the sector.  Recreational drone manufacturers and advocacy groups are committed to keeping the law in place, which would mean that recreational droners do not have to get a Part 107 license or additional training to fly as long as they fly within the framework of a community-based flight organization, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) or the Drone User Group (DUG.)

“ADI is focused on promoting innovation and the growth of the unmanned aircraft industry for both personal and professional use,” says ADI.  “…ADI promotes awareness among policymakers, media and the general public of how drones help society, ensuring that government policies allow everyone to achieve the benefits of safe and responsible drone flight.”

“We look forward to working with Congress, the administration, and other stakeholders on policies that promote innovation and allow the drone market to flourish in a responsible and safe manner,” said ADI Executive Director Jenny Rosenberg.

In addition to legal protections for recreational operators as mentioned above, the ADI supports a micro-drone classification exempting very small and lightweight aircraft from certain laws, and the preservation of FAA preemption.  FAA preemption refers to the idea that the FAA should maintain ultimate authority over the airspace, preventing state, tribal and local governments from passing their own drone laws.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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