November 8, 2019

By K. Daniel Glover

The timing of this week’s inaugural National Drone Safety Awareness Week is perfect from my perspective as a drone pilot. It comes right after my first FAA-approved flight inside what is usually a no-fly zone in controlled airspace.

The operation reinforced to me the agency’s commitment to integrating drones into the national airspace system in ways that help aerial photographers like me, all while still demanding safety as the top priority. I know the rules, appreciate the rationale behind them and willingly follow them because drone safety matters.

My side gig as a drone pilot started slowly in January 2017, partly by choice and partly because of regulatory limitations. I was cautious about flying because I was new to the field, but as a Northern Virginia resident, I also couldn’t fly close to home without getting specific airspace authorizations that weren’t readily available back then.