Ag Aviation UAV Safety Campaign

Safe UAV Operations Around Low-Flying, Manned Aircraft

NAAA has launched a UAV safety campaign to raise awareness, foster communication and prevent accidents between UAV operators and low-altitude manned aircraft. Watch the following video to learn more about safe UAV operations around low-flying, manned aircraft.


See and Avoid: Manned Aircraft Must See a UAV to Avoid It

The ability to see and avoid obstructions and other aircraft is the backbone of safety for aerial applicators and all air traffic operating under visual flight rules. All aircraft, including UAVs, have a responsibility to abide by this aviation safety principle. Small UAVs can be virtually invisible—and potentially lethal—to agricultural pilots, emergency medical helicopters, firefighting, law enforcement and other low-flying aircraft operating in the same airspace.

To ensure the safety of low-altitude manned aircraft, NAAA recommends that drone operators:

  • Always give the right-of-way to a manned aircraft. It’s the law.

  • Equip drones with tracking technology, such as ADS-B Out, so other similarly equipped aircraft can ascertain their positions.

  • Get certified and well-trained in operating a UAV.

  • Contact local agricultural aviation operations before flying by consulting

  • Equip UAVs with visible strobe lights.

  • Land your UAV immediately when a low-altitude manned aircraft is nearby.

  • Carry sufficient UAV liability insurance.

News Release

During Drone Safety Awareness Week, NAAA Urges UAS Operators to be Alert to Low-Flying Agricultural Aircraft
As part of the FAA’s National Drone Safety Awareness Week, the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is reminding all Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operators to be aware of low-altitude agricultural aircraft operations. Read more.

Accounts of Ag Pilot-UAS Encounters

Wis. Operator Takes Action After Third UAV Near Miss in Same Season (Agricultural Aviation, Fall 2018)
A Wisconsin operator nearly collided with a UAV on the way back to his airstrip in September—his company’s third encounter with a UAV this season. Read more.

Near Miss Between Drone and Ag Aircraft in Iowa an Eye-Opener (Agricultural Aviation, Fall 2017)
Redline Aviation operator Ryan Lihs has listened intently when concerns about the safety threat of UAVs to manned pilots have come up at NAAA board meetings and the PAASS Program, yet each time he couldn’t help but think: That’s never going to happen to us. ¶ And then it did. Read more.

Fly With Care
Make sure you can be seen and tracked by low-flying, manned aircraft. Keep a safe distance from them or land until aircraft have left the area.

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