CBS 12 News: Drone Campaign Taking Off, Push to Keep the Public and Pilots Safe

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (CBS12)–Nearly a million drones could be filling the skies this holiday season.

The unmanned aircraft systems are flying off the shelves and key players in the sky want to make sure the public and pilots stay safe.

It’s called know before you fly. Flyers are now being given out to retailers and shoppers with key information that will keep you and even pilots in the sky safe.

“Wanting to teach safety before safety gets away from us,” said Shawn Holmgren with Palm Beach Drone.

As many as one million people could receive drones as a gift over the holidays. Holmgren says that may create a potential disaster.

“Some child or some young adult that got one for Christmas that has never flown anything in the airspace, they don’t know radio noise,” said Holmgren. “If you aren’t watching certain things and alert to certain conditions, you could go blindly into an accident.”

The FAA is now recommending that all recreational drones weighing less than 55 pounds need to be registered. The FAA is also sending representatives to retailers to educate salespeople about unmanned aerial vehicles. Customers will receive a broacher on the, “Know Before You Fly,” campaign to help prevent imminent safety issues.

“There are a lot of challenges ahead of us to get all of those aviators to understand the rules of engagement,” said Holmgren. “That is one of the things the FAA is really trying to drive home, is when you join the pilots up in the air. It has the capacity to bring down a small airplane or jet if it is injected into the wrong part.”