April 2, 2023

The FAI and Freedom Drone Sports have signed a memorandum of understanding, as both look to break new ground in drone racing.

Freedom Drone Sports will be a relatively new name to anyone that’s been following the growing sport of drone racing with interest. Back in February, we reported on the group’s attempt to supersize what many had assumed will always be a miniature sport. Freedom Drone Sports’ biggest selling point is its size, with giant quadcopters capable of reaching similar speeds to their hand-sized counterparts.

Now, Freedom Drone Sports has signed an agreement with the FAI, the World Air Sports Federation, in a move that will see the two organizations working together to help develop drone racing in a responsible and safe way. It’s anticipated that this will include licensing pilots, developing rules of racing, certification of drones, track design, social responsibility, gender equality and accredited training of all parties, including officials.

FIA freedom drone sports

The FAI was founded in 1905 and is a non-governmental and non-profit-making organisation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

President of the FAI, Frits Brink, said: “I am very happy to welcome our new collaboration with Freedom Drone Sports. Drone racing is a fast developing new air sports discipline, and the FAI is very pleased to be working together with new partners in this way. I look forward to seeing the first races and competitions, and watching the sport develop.”

Grantley Reed, Director of Operations of Freedom Drone Sports added: “The team at Freedom Drone Sports is honoured to be working with the FAI, achieving and maintaining confidence in the integrity of Drone Racing is the key to healthy future development.”

“As excited as we are in watching a group of 30 kg giant drones racing around a 3 dimensional track at 200 km/h at Freedom Drone Sports our focus is ‘more than just a racing drone’. Introducing aviation safety management systems, specification and certification of drones and equipment type, the development of race rules with standard operating procedures, licensing and accredited training of pilots, teams and officials, formalised track design, social responsibility and gender equality are all key elements we plan to implement prior to holding our first Freedom Class Giant Drone Race. ”

Freedom drone sports

The Freedom Drone Sports team.

The FAI is responsible for sanctioning air sports competition internationally, while Freedom Drone Sports is a commercial company based in Australia developing its giant drones while advocating for pilot training, education and sensible regulations.

The move is a major step towards the FAI recognizing Freedom Class Giant Drone Sports as a “dedicated air sports discipline” – something of a requirement if it wants to take its giant drone show on the road at any point. Both the FAI and Freedom Drone Sports will cooperate on working together to help establish this discipline. Who knows, it could turn out to be even more popular than regular racing.

The challenge for Freedom Drone Sports will be developing an environment in which its new discipline can flourish from the grass roots up, while the FAI will sanction competitions in the new class. The ultimate goal for both will be an FAI-sanctioned World Championship Series.

Freedom Drone Sports will be present at the 1st FAI International Drone Conference and Expo (1-3 September 2017).

Malek Murison

Malek Murison is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for tech trends and innovation.
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