The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has upheld its prior statements that civilian drones are perfectly safe and lawful to use.

The FAA’s latest report on drone sightings and usage follows a year in which drones have come under some criticism for their potential to interfere with manned aircraft.

However, to date no drone has ever collided with an airplane and the FAA has again stated that consumer drones have an exemplary safety record despite the number of drone users soaring.

What’s more, every FAA investigation of an alleged collision between a drone and a traditional aircraft has determined the cause to be birds, ground hazards, such as wires and posts, or unrelated structural failures – not a drone.

The FAA said it expects the number of drones being used for personal and professional use to nearly double in 2017.

“Reputable analyses of FAA data show that many ‘possible drone sightings’ turn out to be perfectly legitimate drone flights, or objects that clearly are not drones, and we expect these latest reports will show the same pattern,” said Kara Calvert, Director of the Drone Manufacturers Alliance.

“The Drone Manufacturers Alliance expects all our members’ customers to fly safely, responsibly and far away from airplanes and helicopters. That’s why our members are constantly developing new technology to enhance safety, while working closely with the FAA and promoting its Know Before You Fly campaign to encourage educated flight.”

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