July Fourth drone pilots Dedrone

July Fourth drone pilots exhibit more bad behavior than most other days of the year

Fourth of July might conjure up fears of drunk drivers making the roads unsafe, or people lighting un-permitted fireworks that pose a wildfire risk. And as it turns out, July Fourth drone pilots also bring additional risk. At least so says Dedrone, a company that builds anti-drone tracking and mitigation technology.

According to data provided to The Drone Girl from Dedrone, July Fourth is the busiest day of the year in terms of drone flights. That means more drone pilots fly on July Fourth than any other day, based on past year’s data.

It’s also the day of the most reckless drone pilots. According to Dedrone data, more than one-third of all drone flights on July Fourth violate at least one Federal Aviation Administration rule. For example, in 2023 there was a 3.7x increase in drones flying too high, relative to the average for all other days in 2023. Similarly, there was a 4.3x increase in drones entering restricted airspace relative to an average 2023 day, based on Dedrone data.

“These alarming figures underscore the urgent need to address unauthorized drone activity to ensure public safety,” according to a statement from Dedrone. “Unauthorized drone activity poses significant risks, particularly during high-profile events and holidays when public spaces are crowded.”

That said, here’s another factoid that should provide some relief: while there certainly is an uptick in sheer numbers of July Fourth drone pilots exhibiting bad behavior, the rate of reckless drone pilots isn’t necessarily higher on Independence Day.

Dedrone says that — while 37% of drone flights made some sort of FAA violation on July 4, 2023 — it’s only marginally more than the average. Across all days in 2023, the average number of drone flights with an FAA violation was 36%.

In short, there are more net violations, but it’s only because more pilots as a whole are flying. The rate of bad behavior isn’t necessarily significantly higher.

Dedrone shared a fancy infographic with The Drone Girl to display their data, plus some general guidance around FAA rules:

July Fourth drone pilots Dedrone

What is Dedrone?

Dedrone makes airspace security software and hardware. It’s used at critical infrastructure sites, government facilities, and major events worldwide including the FIFA World Cup. The goal? To protect those places from drones that aren’t supposed to be there. Dedrone’s technology detects, identifies, and mitigates unauthorized drone threats.

And in May 2024, Axon — the company known for making body cameras and tasers — announced it would acquire Dedrone. Business has been good for Dedrone, too. In February 2024, the company reported 300% revenue growth year-over-year versus February 2023. At that time, Dedrone said it had closed 16 new government contractors globally over the past year. That included deals with the U.S. Department of Defense. Dedrone’s software product called Dedrone City-Wide Drone Detection won a spot on The Time Best Inventions of 2023 list

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