Some of the biggest names in consumer drones have abandoned the Small UAV Coalition to form their own advocacy group.
It's been pitched as 'Consumer vs Commercial' in the drone industry, but in reality the move from GoPro, DJI, Parrot and 3DRobotics makes a lot of sense considering the huge markets developing in both the business and enthusiast sectors. While the likes of Amazon, Google and Verizon have their own, largely commercial agendas, the biggest names in manufacturing have a different market to please and different legislation to focus on.
The two groups are likely to see eye to eye on many issues, but the consumer manufacturers made the move, according to new director Kara Calvert, director of the new coalition, because "There is a lot happening in Washington around drones right now, and I think the companies felt the need to focus their efforts on policy issues that affect manufacturers of drones used in the recreational, commercial and other spaces”.
A statement on the Drone Manufacturers Alliance's website reads:
Leading global drone manufacturers 3DR, DJI, GoPro and Parrot today are forming the Drone Manufacturers Alliance, a coalition that will serve as the voice for drone manufacturers and our customers across civilian, governmental, recreational, commercial, nonprofit and public safety applications. We will advocate for policies that promote innovation and safety, and create a practical and responsible regulatory framework.
There are significant economic and social benefits to drone operations in the U.S., and industry must work with policymakers to ensure a safe environment for flying. The Drone Manufacturers Alliance believes a carefully balanced regulatory framework requires input from all stakeholders and must recognize the value and necessity of continued technological innovation. By highlighting innovation and emphasizing education, we intend to work with policymakers to ensure drones continue to be safely integrated into the national airspace.