Tom McMahon, AUVSIWith an expected 750,000 or more, drones being purchased for this Christmas season, there is sure to be a large number of people wondering where can they their drone and what they need to know if they’re starting a drone based business. If you’re one of these individuals, then you’re going to want to listen to this podcast closely.

Tom McMahon is the Vice President of Advocacy and Public Affairs for the Association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems International. AUVSI is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community.  About a year ago, the organization embarked on a campaign to educate commercial drone operators on what they need to know before flying their drones. Tom is here to talk about that campaign and what commercial drone operators can expect in the future.  If you recently purchased or received a drone and you’re thinking about starting a drone based business, then what Tom has to say is critical to ensure your business operates safely and within the guidelines of the FAA.

Show Outline

  • [01:47] Know Before You Fly – Tom discusses the origins and purpose of the Know Before You Fly education campaign.
  • [02:44] The FAA Exemption – Before a commercial operator can fly a drone for business, he/she needs to get an exemption from the FAA.
  • [04:12] Flying a Drone Legally – Tom goes into more detail on what an operator should do to fly a drone legally.
  • [05:29] Success of Know Before You Fly – Tom discusses the success of the campaign in educating operators on how to safely use their drones.
  • [07:10] Information on Know Before You Fly can be found at or at the Know Before You Fly website.
  • [08:04] Drone Safety – Tom lists and discusses the key safety rules for drone operators, like flying only during daylight, height limitations, line-of-sight, etc.
  • [10:13] Drone Industries – Tom discusses some of the industries that will benefit most by the $82 Billion economic impact that drones are expected to generate in the next 10 years.
  • [12:47] Career Opportunities – Tom discusses where people can go to research potential career opportunities in the drone industry that’s expected to create more than 100,000 new jobs.
  • [14:06] AUVSI Goals – AUVSI is positioned to provide advocacy on behalf of the industry, promoting market growth and leading education initiatives for those interested in joining the industry.
  • [15:32] What You Should Do – Tom encourages those interested in pursuing a drone based business or a career in the industry to contact the FAA and encourage them to finalize he small UAV rule.
  • [16:50] Closing

Mentioned Links