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The survey was conducted over a period of 30 days in March/April 2016, and the below data comes from 1,530 unique survey participants. We were blown away with how many people took part!

We had a healthy mix of recreational and professional pilots. About 22% have applied for their Section 333 Exemption, 19% plan to submit their paperwork soon, and 55% don’t plan to.

Many believe the dangers imposed by sUAS are being over-exaggerated and not fully understood. Others recognize the challenge of safely integrating thousands of new UAS pilots into the national airspace, and what that means for the aviation industry.

We also wanted to know a little bit about drone insurance habits, so we asked a couple of questions:




Note the considerably smaller sample size (‘n‘) for the second question.

This is a well thought through survey with a very meaningful sample size.  You can use this data to support one of two arguments. The first is that this is still too complicated for ordinary mortals and even pilots. The second is that the FAA is right to be very concerned.
There are a bunch of literal comments (write-ins or anecdotal) about people’s experiences dealing with local airports that brings up many of the same questions I raised about AirMap’s new D-NAS initiative to enable local towers to monitor
drone flights.
Alan’s observation is: There’s such a varying set of experiences pilots are having when reaching out to an airport, heliport, or air traffic control tower. I really wish this was more standardized. This kind of environment is breeding a culture of non-compliance.
There are also a bunch of literal comments about people’s experiences with law enforcement while out flying. It is clear that a tremendous effort would be required for the FAA to get local law enforcement to act consistently across the country.
As regards the insurance question, particularly the second one, it would be interesting to segment the survey data to see who responded. It is easy to imagine that those engaged in commercial operations would be more likely to get insurance and to see it as a requirement.

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