Know Before You Fly announced today more than 500,000 unique users have visited its website since the launch of the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) education campaign in December 2014.
An estimated 700,000 UAS were to be sold in the United States in 2015, according to the Consumer Technology Association. In addition, more than 425,000 people have registered their drones since Dec. 21, 2015, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The robust traffic to the Know Before You Fly website is evidence that the safety campaign is potentially reaching the majority of people flying or interested in flying UAS.
The graph to the right shows the monthly unique visitors to the Know Before You Fly website since the campaign’s initial launch. The campaign saw a spike in visitors during the holiday season likely due to a number of consumers purchasing UAS for the first time. In fact, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) saw the highest number of visitors (6,009) to the site. Additionally, the spike in December may have been helped by the FAA’s Dec. 14 announcementrequiring recreational operators of small UAS to register before the first flight outdoors.
The strength of the campaign is due to its nearly 100 supporters, which play an invaluable role in amplifying the campaign’s educational efforts and informing the public by spreading the word about safe and responsible UAS use. Know Before You Fly lists several manufacturers, distributors and retailers as supporters, including Amazon, DJI, Horizon and Walmart. The campaign also has a number of supporters from the manned and unmanned aviation communities as well as from a number of UAS training programs and research institutions, such as Virginia Tech.
Many of these companies and organizations have agreed to include UAS safety information on their websites, with their products and/or at point-of-sale. For instance, in December 2015, DJI began distribution of the campaign’s safety brochures inside the packaging of all its U.S.-bound Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 UAS product series. Amazon launched the Fly Responsibly Drone Store and the company links to the campaign’s materials on Amazon.com. Meanwhile, Walmart is promoting a link to the Know Before You Fly website on its store shelves where drones are sold and a link to the campaign’s website is included on receipts for UAS purchases made in-store and online.
Traffic to the website proves these education efforts are working. Nearly 41.6 percent of Know Before You Fly website traffic was referred from websites of campaign supporters’, such as the FAA.gov (14,020 referrals), TowerHobbies.com (10,274 referrals), Amazon.com (6,821 referrals), BestBuy.com (6,193 referrals), Yuneec.com(6,171 referrals), HorizonHobby.com (4,815 referrals), and HobbyPeople.net (1,671 referrals). Additionally, one of every three visitors to the site has typed the URL directly into their browser, which means more and more people know the campaign by name.
Know Before You Fly was launched by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in partnership with the FAA with the goal of spreading awareness about safe and responsible use of UAS. For more information on safe and responsible flying, visitKnowBeforeYouFly.org or follow @FlyResponsibly on Twitter.