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Back to Blogs Drone Associations for Professional Drone Pilots - Aerial Innovations Southeast

Partners in Drone Technology: Drone Associations That You Need To Know

The drone industry is literally taking off. This is an exciting time to be a professional drone pilot. Commercial drone services are becoming more common with the most growth coming in aerial photography. However, as most professional drone photographers know, the industry is far from established. As the awareness of commercial drone usage grows, change is inevitable.

That is why it is important for people within the industry to advance the cause for commercial drone services together. Fortunately, a professional drone pilot is no longer alone. These established drone organizations can provide the resources you need.

Commercial Drone Alliance

As far as drone associations go, the Commercial Drone Alliance is focused on providing comprehensive support. The Alliance believes that drone usage on a commercial level can serve both an economic and humanitarian end. There is ample potential when it comes to drones, and the Alliance is committed to making sure others fully embrace that potential as well. However, that potential needs to come with a legal framework. Therefore, these drone advocates are committed to working with the government to create clear and fair rules to oversee the industry.

The Commercial Drone Alliance is operated by people with extensive experience in the industry. Although the organization was only founded in 2016, it benefits from the years of experience of its leaders. The Alliance was created by Lisa Ellman and Gretchen West, who are both known throughout the industry for their expertise.

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Of all the drone associations, this one may well be the largest. The Academy of Model Aeronautics has more than 195,000 members. This organization caters widely to model aviation. In addition to more established drones, this includes quadcopters, which have recently become quite popular. With this perspective, this organization is poised to provide key services and advocacy for those in the aerial photography industry.

In particular, the AMA is passionate about FAA Reauthorization, and the organization lobbies for Section 336. As most people in the industry know, Section 336 was the rule that prevented the FAA from establishing regulations over recreational flyers. With the repeal of Section 336, new action is required. The AMA wants to build a better future for the industry.

Alliance for Drone Innovation

The Alliance for Drone Innovation was formed from the Drone Manufacturers Alliance. This new organization got its start in 2016. The ADI is oriented toward manufacturers of drone technology, giving the organization unique insight and motivation. Within its purview, the ADI works to support everyone who is a part of the development process. In addition to manufacturers, this includes software suppliers, retailers, and drone businesses. The ADI works with big names like Parrot, Kittyhawk, and FatShark.

With rapid changes impacting the industry all the time, this commercial drone organization stays active in causes that matter, and it has interests represented across the world. With this kind of network, the ADI is the best kind of ally in this evolving industry.


Dronecode offers an interesting angle on the industry. This organization is focused on the technology itself, working hard to provide an open-source platform for the hardware that operates drones in a commercial setting. Much of the industry is dominated by technology from Chinese sources, and while this technology has obvious merit, a little competition is always good for industry growth.

This specialized organization was established by the Linux Foundation, and its founding members come from 3D Robotics, Baidu, DroneDeploy, and Intel. With this kind of backing, Dronecode is definitely an organization of some significance. Its offerings include hardware, software and more. All of these solutions are open source for maximum flexibility and affordability.

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

Although the AMA is the big name in the industry, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International actually has a wider reach and a broader focus. The AMA is specific in what technology it supports. AUVSI, on the other hand, looks to advocate for all unmanned systems and robotics. This includes flying drones and more.

This wider reach may not seem to immediately appeal to the needs of commercial drone use, but the benefits still exist. Because this organization does have such a wide reach, its resources are equally expansive. AUVSI represents interests in more than 60 countries. Its annual expo is highly anticipated with representatives from the government, academia and the industry. If you are just starting out as a professional drone pilot, then this network could be invaluable.

Get Connected

If commercial drone use is a part of your life, then you need to know about these drone organizations and what they can do for you. Partnerships with these drone advocates can prove very beneficial over time. You can also contact us at Aerial Innovations Southeast to learn about our powerful options for drone services and aerial photography today.