Small UAV Coalition’s Annual Meeting Takes Washington By Storm

texasJanuary 20-21 2015 – The Small UAV Coalition hosted its members in Washington, DC, marking its first annual meeting since the organization’s founding in August 2014. The busy itinerary included meetings on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress, a meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a technology fair at the National Press Club, and a concert at the 9:30 Club with Grammy® Award Winning Artists OK GO, which raised over $30,000 for the Know Before You Fly Campaign.

The two-day event began with a technology fair at the National Press Club, featuring 12 exhibiting members and flights by DJI Phantom 2, DJI Inspire, and Parrot BeBop. The event was enjoyed by Congressional staffers, agency staffers, media and hobbyists alike. After executive Director Michael Drobac welcomed attendees, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon delivered remarks and representatives from Airware, DJI, Aerialtronics, Google{x} and 3D Robotics gave insight into technology and the future of small UAVs.

Following the technology fair, Coalition members convened for lunch and split off into groups for an afternoon of meetings. Groups met with 33 Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, an Administrator with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and high-level officials with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Meetings were held over the course of both days.

The second day of the event coincided with a Congressional hearing in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology exploring Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research and Development. Coalition Member Colin Guinn of 3D Robotics was a witness and delivered testimony on the need for regulation of commercial UAV use. The hearing marked the first flight of a drone on Capitol Hill, the Parrot BeBop.

The visit culminated with a concert at the 9:30 Club featuring Grammy ® Award Winners OK Go, who utilized a drone in the filming of their video “Here It Goes Again.” OK Go brought energy, excitement and a sea of confetti for a crowd of 500+ to enjoy.