In an attempt to pave the way for commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small UAVs in the US and around the world, a number of players in the field have teamed up to form the Small UAV Coalition.
The group is also looking to support recreational use of small UAVs for hobbyists.
To those ends, the organization’s main goal is to develop an open regulatory process that ensures “safe, reliable, and timely operation of small UAVs.” It is also pushing for regulatory changes to allow small UAVs to be operated beyond line-of-sight with varying degrees of autonomy.
The group classifies small UAVs as those weighing less than 55 lb (25 kg) and which typically fly at an altitude of under 400 ft (122 m) above ground level. They are also powered by rechargeable batteries and can be flown either manually via a remote control or autonomously using an automated program in the UAV.