Welcome to UAViators

UAViators (You-Aviators)

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

With over 3,000 members in 120+ countries, our mission is to promote the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs for data collection and cargo delivery 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 aid and development partners. We actively promote community engagement & educate UAV operators. We convene Experts Meetings and facilitate information sharing, coordination and learning across all our efforts. Our pilot roster includes 600+ UAV pilots in 70+ 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 during disasters; and catalyze research & information sharing. To pursue these objectives, we co-organized the first ever Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting at the UN Secretariat in 2014 and held this meeting again in 2015 at MIT. We taught the first ever Humanitarian UAV training courses in Europethe US and Asia for humanitarian and development professionals. In addition, we convened a high-level policy forum supported by the Rockefeller Foundation to further develop our international code of conduct. We also joined the Drones in Humanitarian Action research program in 2015. In 2016, we launched WeRobotics to take over the operational responsibilities of UAViators and provide professional training and aerial technologies directly to local partners in developing countries. In 2018, we launched a dedciated website for the Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct: UAVcode.org.

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. Use the Email-List if you're looking for direct input.
  4. Post 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 TEDx talk on Humanitarian UAVs. See also his book, Digital Humanitarians, which has been praised by experts at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, United Nations, Red Cross, Work Bank and more. The book features members of UAViators in action.


Global Forum

New! Online Training on Humanitarian Drone Missions

We're pleased to announce the launch of the WeRobotics Online Training Institute and our first course on Drones in Humanitarian Action. We'd be very grateful for your help in forwarding this new opportunity to your contacts. Commercial drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are increasingly used in a wide range of humanitarian contexts. For years, WeRobotics (and before it the Humanitarian UAV Network) provided professional, in-person trainings in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and…

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1 Reply · Reply by Calvin Betts yesterday

Advice for working with local govt. for UAV disaster response

Hello all!   I am from the USVI. As you may know, the Caribbean was devastated last year by two category 5 hurricanes. I would like to set up a local organization of volunteer pilots to work with the government in disaster response. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with this and could provide suggestions and resources.   Currently, my plan is to create a website where pilots can register themselves, their equipment, and their location/contact information. Currently, I am trying to…

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1 Reply · Reply by Patrick Meier on Wednesday

Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct – New Website

The Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct was first launched by the Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) in 2014. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to inform the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs across a wide range of humanitarian contexts. The Code of Conduct has since been revised several dozen times thanks to important contributions from several dozen humanitarian and development organizations as well as donors. In 2015, for example, the Rockefeller Foundation kindly hosted a 3-day…

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Video & Discussion Paper: Towards a Model for Humanitarian UAV Coordination

Joel Kaiser from WeRobotics recently gave a Webinar presentation on Humanitarian UAV Coordination. Over the past 15 years, Joel has led disaster response teams in many humanitarian crises and complex emergencies including Haiti, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, etc. A video of his webinar is now available along with his discussion paper on humanitrian UAV coordination. Both of these items are available at the following link:…

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Federico Fattorini updated their profile photo
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