New NFPA Standard for Drone Operations

Source: Roswell Flight Test Crew, taken in collaboration with the LongView Fire Department

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has released their NFPA 2400® Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) (drones) Used for Public Safety Operations.

NFPA 2400 details the minimum requirements for the safe operation, deployment, and implementation of sUAS including organization program criteria and considerations, professional qualifications for safety personnel, and elements of a maintenance program.

The NFPA describes the standard as “an all-encompassing standard that applies to all public safety departments that operate sUAS, providing much-needed guidance as drone usage rises. It also gives departments the information and knowledge needed to develop a comprehensive sUAS program based on an entity’s operation type while identifying potential risks associated with deployment.”

It says the standard underscores the need for a sUAS coordinator and the importance of knowing airspace requirements, weather conditions, crew readiness benchmarks, resource needs, incident command systems, regulatory requirements, and communication strategies.

The standard’s developers included 46 professionals from fire service organizations such as IAFC, IAFF, the California State Firefighters’ Association, FDNY, and county fire and rescue departments, along with representatives from sheriffs’ departments, IAB, DHS, ALEA, police foundations, metropolitan units, the Department of Transportation, private ambulance companies, NIST, manufacturing, aviation, and consultancies.