Drone Safety | Standards Michigan

Drone Safety

Faster than you can say "lost luggage" the global standardization community is starstruck by a hot new trend. In the US alone we count 10 non-profit trade associations competing for revenue associated with hegemony in the robotic aviation space. There are even more ad hoc workgroups and technical committees set up by incumbent stakeholders who want a piece of the action (i.e. conformance/compliance/enforcement revenue through regulation). While we offer support to the academic community on the dynamics of technology and management standards, our interest at the moment will be confined to the use of drones for campus public safety, safer inspections of education facility roofs, clocktowers and other facilities where remote visual inspection can be productive.


Drone Safety

March 30, 2020
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“Icarus” | Joos de Momper


“All limits are self imposed.”

Daedalus and Icarus (Metamorphoses, Ovid)


The National Fire Protection Association has added another standard to its suite of public safety documents: NFPA 2400 Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) used for Public Safety Operations.   This standard covers the minimum requirements relating to the operation, deployment, and implementation of small unmanned aircraft systems for public safety operations.   The standard is developed by two main committees — one committee for drone systems (UAS-AAA) and another committee for the professional qualifications to operate and maintain drone systems (PQU-AAC)

From the project prospectus:

This standard shall cover the minimum requirements relating to the operation, deployment, and implementation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for public safety operations. This standard shall establish operational protocols for public safety entities who use and support sUAS. This standard shall include minimum job performance requirements (JPRs) for public safety personnel who operate and support sUAS. This standard shall include minimum requirements for the maintenance of sUAS when used by public safety entities. This standard shall provide additional minimum requirements specific to public safety entities.

The 2019 Edition of NFPA 2400 has already been released for public use.  Because this is a relatively new addition to the NFPA suite we provide two links that offer insight into the ideas running through it: The First Draft Report for the AAA committee is linked below:


The First Draft Report for the AAC committee is linked below:


We choose these reports to provide an overview of the technical and management concepts in play in the first draft.  It is not uncommon, in the developmental trajectory of any accredited standard, that the bulk of it is largely administrative.  You may view it with a (free) NFPA public review account.  Get one by CLICKING HERE

Application of this technology for public safety on college and university campuses will likely accelerate and, hopefully, a catalog of case studies that will be shared.   We find that several educational organizations are supporting faculty and staff involvement:  University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Oklahoma State University and the University Of Cincinnati are supporting the participation of Special Experts.  The Los Angeles Unified School District is supporting a User Interest.

We expect that agricultural colleges and universities will begin developing curricula around the use of drones for crop inspection.

We encourage operations and maintenance staff — the various roofing and landscaping and grounds shops; for example — to participate in the development of the next revision.  You may do so here: NFPA PUBLIC INPUT PAGE

We recommend you communicate directly with NFPA staff — either Michael Wixler or Elena Carroll.  CLICK HERE for contact help.  We also host a monthly teleconference that covers the status of the expanding constellation of education facility security standards.  See our CALENDAR for the next online teleconference; always at the same time — 11:00 AM Eastern Time; always with the same login credentials; and always open to everyone.

Schriever School Age Care | Schriever Air Force Base Indoor Running Track


Issue: [18-269], [16-199]

Category: Public Safety, Risk Management, #SmartCampus

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Richard Robben

Standards Massachusetts


ISO/TC 20/SC 16 Unmanned aircraft systems

Drones are also being used for rooftop cooling tower inspection: ASTM Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems

SAE International: Requirements for a Terrestrial Based Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) System to Improve Unmanned Vehicle Navigation Solutions and Ensure Critical Infrastructure Security


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