The FAA Accredits the Drone Racing League as First UAS Event Organizer

The Drone Racing League (DRL), the world’s premier, professional drone racing property, today announced it has been accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the first unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) event organizer. A leader in drone-event safety, DRL also announced its participation in FAA’s Partnership for Safety Plan (PSP) Program to establish a standardized set of safety protocols for individuals and organizations seeking to conduct unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) demonstrations, air shows, exhibitions and events in front of live audiences.

To help the industry maximize drone safety at their events, DRL will support the FAA in evaluating safety procedures and technology, developing and implementing official U.S. drone event safety guidelines, and educating the drone community on drone safety. The league will also continue to adhere to the highest safety protocols at their high-speed drone races, which take place in iconic locations, like stadiums, landmarks, and museums, and are watched by millions of fans on NBC, NBCSN, Twitter and other premier networks around the world.

DRL has been committed to drone racing safety since its inception. In 2016, DRL worked with The White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) to develop, standardize, and share drone racing safety protocols with the drone racing community. The league also recently joined the Commercial Drone Alliance, an organization focused on moving safe and responsible drone integration forward. At all DRL race and testing events, DRL activates safety measures, including tech-controls to terminate drones mid-flight, netting to protect pilots, crew and fans from drones, and stringent course closures to ensure nobody is near the drones while they are in the air. DRL will bring this safety process to their DRL Vegas Championship Race Presented by T-Mobile, the culminating, live-audience event of the 2021-22 DRL World Championship Season, on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 outside of T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.

“We’re honored the FAA has accredited DRL as the first UAS event organization and we’re excited to participate in the FAA’s PSP program to ensure safety is the priority at all UAS events. We look forward to sharing our expertise in drone-event safety more widely with the industry and continuing to work with venue organizers to curate safe and spectacular drone racing experiences through the most unique and incredible spaces,” said DRL COO Ashley Ellefson.

In line with the PSP, DRL educates the public on drone safety through various channels, including digital content and DRL SIM gaming integrations, and provides thought leadership to the broader community. For example, the DRL United States Air Force FPV 101 video series on Twitter immerses fans into the world of drone racing, providing safety tips and advice. The DRL SIM game has an in-depth flight training, teaching players how to safely level up their drone skills on Xbox, PlayStation, Steam, and Epic Games. The league also actively supports the FAA’s drone safety awareness initiatives, speaking on panels and promoting national drone-operation rules to inspire safe flying within the drone industry. 

Tonight, as part of the 2021-22 DRL World Championship Season, elite DRL pilots will race through the U.S. Air Force Boneyard – Night Mode map on the DRL SIM at 8pm EST on NBCSN and Twitter.

About Drone Racing League
The Drone Racing League (DRL) is the world’s premier, professional drone racing property. The best drone pilots in the world fly in the league and millions of fans watch them race on NBC, NBCSN and Twitter. With groundbreaking technology and immersive, high-speed races through virtual and live events, DRL is creating a new era of sports, combining both esports and real-life competition.

Founded by Nicholas Horbaczewski in 2015, DRL is a privately held company headquartered in NYC. For more information, visit

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