Drone registration numbers must now be marked outside your aircraft, FAA says

In just about a week, drone registration numbers will now need to be marked somewhere on the outside of the aircraft, according to a new rule posted by the Federal Aviation Administration in the Federal Register. There are no rules around where on the external surface any drone registration numbers must be marked, or any particular size the number needs to be. It simply states that the number must “be seen upon visual inspection of the aircraft’s exterior.” The rule goes into effect on Saturday, Feb. 23. It had previously been okay for drone operators to mark their registration number in an interior compartment of the drone, such as a battery case. But law enforcement and security officials didn’t like that. The FAA in a prepared statement specifically cited concerns about the risk a concealed explosive device might pose to first responders upon opening a compartment to find a drone’s registration number. While the rule does go into effect in about a week, it is actually an Interim Final Rule, meaning it is also inviting public comment (you can submit comments between now and March 15, 2019 at this link and search for “RIN 2120-AL32. “The FAA issues interim final rules when delaying implementation of the rule would be impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest,” the FAA said in a statement. “In this case, the agency has determined the importance of mitigating the risk to first responders outweighs the minimal inconvenience this change may impose on small drone owners,

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Drone world heats up in Minnesota this winter for AirVūz Drone Video Awards

Drone world heats up in Minnesota this winter for AirVūz Drone Video Awards

The temperatures may be in the negatives in Minnesota right now, but things are about to heat up this Presidents Day weekend. Some of the most recognizable names in the drone community — including yours truly — will be in Minneapolis on Monday, Feb. 18th for the 2nd Annual AirVūz Drone Video Awards. The 2nd annual AirVūz Drone Video Awards will name winners in 18 categories from a collection of 30,000 videos uploaded to the online drone video community throughout 2018. If you aren’t willing to brave the cold and head to Minneapolis — or you just have other plans — then tune in online, as the award show will be streamed LIVE on the AirVūz Facebook Page on Monday, Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. CST. But if you can make it, the event is going to be huge — and it’s free! The event will include an awards show and an FPV race sponsored by Hydra FPV, all at Bauhaus Brew Labs in Minneapolis. There will also be a social hour and the Post-Show Pilot Pick’em Race — and free beer for attendees. And there are huge stakes. Grand prizes of $3,000 USD will be awarded to both the Drone Video of the Year and FPV Video of the Year, and the People’s Choice winner will receive $1,000 USD. All category winners will take home $500 USD. While the event is free and open to the public RSVP on the official event page. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. CST.

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The latest on DJI after uncovering massive employee theft scheme

Dronemaker DJI has outlined steps to prevent employee theft in the wake of news that DJI employees were inflating the cost of parts and materials for personal gain, in what could have cost the company up to 1 billion yuan ($150 million). The case of employee fraud was uncovered via an internal probe, and DJI responded by firing a number of employees, alerting law enforcement, and setting up new internal channels for employees to submit confidential and anonymous reports relating to any violations of the company’s workplace conduct policies. DJI has since elaborated on the news of the employee theft and outlined how it planned to instill new corporate internal processes, implying that previously loose management practices would be re-evaluated. Read the entire statement from DJI, released on Jan. 30, here: Since our founding 13 years ago, DJI has been a company that emphasizes honesty and integrity in our operations. We strongly believe that upholding these values is a critical element in DJI’s long-term development. We have been disappointed to learn that not all employees have upheld these goals. As DJI embarked on a management reform effort last year, we discovered problems that had evolved during our period of high growth. Uncovering inefficient and ineffective management processes is extremely important for DJI to continue pursuing its success. This is an imperative for our company, and indeed for any company. Unfortunately, DJI has discovered instances of cost inefficiency, purchasing manipulations and outright theft. We cannot ignore these issues. Indeed, for the

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Drone delivery company whose stock dropped 40% in one year wants $12 million from Canadian government

The drone delivery hype craze wasn’t good for investors of Drone Delivery Canada, a Toronto-based drone technology company that both designs and builds delivery drones, as well as operates a logistics software platform intended for use among governments and corporations to aid in delivery. Drone Delivery Canada Corp. shares are down 39.59% over the past year, vs. the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is up 3.78% in the same period. The company is publicly traded, and is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “FLT,” on the U.S. OTC Q B market under the symbol “TAKOF” and on the Frankfurt exchange in Germany under the symbol “A2AMGZ.” The company in January submitted a request for $12 million from Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund. The $2 billion fund is intended to help finance infrastructure projects in Canada. Drone Delivery Canada said it wants to use the money to “deploy its drone delivery solution in two remote locations.” Drone Delivery Canada has already worked with Transport Canada through participation in its beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) trial tests, including a week-long test in Alma, Quebec to stress test the company’s proprietary FLYTE management system with its Sparrow cargo delivery drone.Flights were conducted under both day and night conditions and were attended by representatives from Transport Canada and the National Research Council. It also used drones for the delivery of food and medical services in Moosonee, Ontario. But could 2019 be a turnaround year for the company? Canada’s Minister of

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Drones ring in Chinese New Year alongside pop stars Sun Nan and Jason Zhang

Drones ring in Chinese New Year alongside pop stars Sun Nan and Jason Zhang

Celebrations to ring in the Year of the Pig got a little help from some drones. As part of CCTV Chinese New Year Gala, 88 tiny drones flew above the stages as popular Chinese singer Sun Nan and up-and-coming pop star Jason Zhang sang “The Distance of Time” alongside 50 performers dressed as blossoming cherry trees. CCTV, which is considered by some a propaganda tool, is the predominant state television broadcaster in the People’s Republic of China and is funded in whole or in part by the Chinese government. The CCTV New Year’s Gala, which is a yearly special program for the Chinese New Year, is the most-watched CCTV program — and the most watched TV program in the world given China’s huge population. This year’s show garnered a reported audience of 1 billion viewers. Some of the 88 Lucie micro drones that performed on CCTV. The drones used were called Lucie micro drones, designed by indoor drone systems designer Verity Studios in partnership with Chinese ‘smart entertainment company’ Keey Meedia. The Chinese New Year performance featured 88 Lucie micro drones flying from the back of the stage designed to look like Chinese lanterms, to dance above the 50 performers dressed as blossoming cherry trees. Here’s what it looked like: The drones were designed by the Swiss company Verity Studios AG, which is the same team responsible for getting 8 drones to fly in sync with each other in a routine every night on stage for the Broadway incarnation of Cirque du Soleil called

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