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Welcome to UAViators

UAViators (pronounced You-Aviators)

"Humanitarian organizations should engage in initiatives like the Humanitarian UAV Network."
          - United Nations (OCHA) Policy Brief 

With well over 2,400 members in 80+ countries, our mission is to promote the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs for data collection, cargo delivery and communication services in a wide range of humanitarian and development settingsWe do this by developing and championing international guidelines for the responsible use of UAVs. We actively promote operational safety and document lessons learned and best practices. We never self-deploy. We only mobilize at the request of established humanitarian & development partners. We actively promote community engagement and educate UAV operators. We convene Experts Meetings and facilitate information sharing, coordination and learning across all our efforts. Our pilot roster includes 400+ UAV pilots and our partnership with Air-Vid gives us access to 600+ vetted pilots in 60+ countries.

Our objectives are thus five-fold: establish clear standards for the responsible use of UAVs and provide up-to-date regulatory information; document lessons learned and best practices; provide hands-on UAV training; inform UAV deployments after disasters; and catalyze research & information sharing. To pursue these objectives, we co-organized the first ever Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting at the UN Secretariat and held this meeting again in 2015 at MIT. We also taught the first ever Humanitarian UAV training courses in Europethe US and Nepal for humanitarian and development professionals. In addition, we convened a high-level policy forum supported by the Rockefeller Foundation to further develop our international guidelines

To get started:

  1. Please sign up (the private site has member-only features).
  2. Complete your profile and Start Here to make the most of your membership.
  3. Join ongoing conversations by adding yourself to the Email-List.
  4. Post insights, questions and announcements to the Forum.
  5. Read, improve and share our Code of Conduct and Best Practices Guide.
  6. If you're a pilot, please join the Pilot Roster here.


New! Founder Patrick Meier's new book, Digital Humanitarians, has already been endorsed by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, United Nations, Red Cross, Work Bank and more. The book features members of UAViators in action. UAViators was originally launched at QCRI.

Global Forum

Experts Meeting: Cargo Drones in Humanitarian Action (Updated)

I co-organized a 2-day Experts Meeting in the UK this week focusing on Cargo Drones in Humanitarian Action. The event was co-organized with WeRobotics, FSD and the University of Sheffield with generous support from DG/ECHO. Speakers and participants included: World Food Program (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), Doctors without Borders (MSF), World Bank Group, USAID, UN Department of Field Support, UN Air Transport Unit, Mercy Corps, Medair, Global Humanitarian Lab, Airbus, Zipline,…

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9 Replies · Reply by Patrick Meier yesterday

Trilateral UK publication on Ethics and Data Protection

Linked below is a new publication by Rachel L. Finn and David Wright entitled "Privacy, data protection and ethics for civil drone practice: A survey of industry, regulators and civil society organisations". This article presents results of a survey of primarily, although not exclusively, European drone industry representatives, regulators and civil society organisations that examined privacy, data protection and ethics with respect to civil drone operations. The article provides snapshot…

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0 Replies

Big News: Rockefeller Foundation Funds UAViators Spinoff!

Dear UAViators, As many of you already know, we announced the official launch of WeRobotics at the International Drones for Good Awards in Dubai this past February: http://uaviators.org/forum/werobotics-is-now-live As we noted at the time, “WeRobotics is a natural evolution for UAViators and will take over the operational responsibilities of our growing network of Flying Labs.” ​ We’re now thrilled to report that the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation has just awarded WeRobotics a major grant…

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1 Reply · Reply by ANDREA MOCHI May 17

Tasking and coordination

Dear all If you follow the listserve, you will see that I just posted an announcement for the Beta launch of a new service called SnapBird (copy of announcement email below). The idea of SnapBird came from the observation that even if the 'Humanitarian UAV' sector is still relatively young and poorly understood by responders (let's not kid ourselves; it is..), it is growing fast and the need for sound tasking and coordination mechanisms is quickly becoming urgent. SnapBird is a client-centric…

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Ted Heighington updated their profile
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Cesar Ivan Alvarez Mendoza and Benoit Duverneuil are now friends
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Jon Caris updated their profile
yesterday
Patrick Meier and William Stavanja are now friends
yesterday
Guillermo Pérez Cuervo updated their profile
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Antony Francis Rolt updated their profile
yesterday
Shintaro GOTO is now a member of Humanitarian Team
yesterday
Patrick Meier replied to Patrick Meier's discussion Experts Meeting: Cargo Drones in Humanitarian Action (Updated)
"Hi All, here is a short summary of the Experts Meeting including links to individual presentations:

http://werobotics.org/experts-meeting-on-cargo-robotics/"
yesterday
John Cook is now a member of Humanitarian UAV Network
yesterday
Tawanda Mutukwa updated their profile photo
yesterday
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